What are Brownfields?
brown·fields n. A piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment.
(Definition according to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.)
Any property potentially contaminated, previously contaminated, or perceived by a community to be contaminated with hazardous substances, including petroleum products, may be eligible for assistance from the State of Alaska or the federal government to support reuse and revitalization efforts. This assistance may include environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training. DEC assists eligible sites in Alaska in applying for different types of EPA brownfield grants. DEC also provides oversight to protect public health in the cleanup and management of brownfield sites.
Nearly a decade ago, EPA initiated a program to clean up brownfields. The program focused primarily on properties in urban blighted areas and was designed to empower states, communities, and others with economic redevelopment interests to assess, safely clean up, and sustainability reuse brownfields, as well as to prevent the creation of new brownfields. As the program has developed, rural land and properties are increasingly eligible for assistance, with reuse for fish and wildlife habitat, subsistence, green space, or recreational uses. More details are available on EPA's website about the formal definition of a brownfield site for the purposes of determining eligibility for federal funding, and what kinds of sites are included or excluded in the definition.
In 2002, Congress expanded the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and increased funding authority for the federal Brownfields Program.
For more information about brownfields, please read our fact sheet, Frequently Asked Question About Brownfields.
Craig, Alaska Known Brownfield Sites