Brownfield sites can be defined as deserted or underutilized facilities that were previously used for industrial and/or commercial purposes, and are available for re-use and re-development (Davis, 2002). They are usually contaminated with many toxic chemicals and have to be assessed, cleaned, and decontaminated in order to be used again. An example is the 45-acre property in Pennsylvania; it was formerly used for storage of refined salt products, refining and production plant for aluminum and cryolite, bulk repackaging and blending facility for chemicals and repackaging, and warehousing facility for Forane and refrigerators (EPA, 2010). Efforts to clean the area were started in 2003 with grants from various organizations; a total of $ 5million dollars were raised for the assessment and clean-up exercise. Some of the technologies used in sampling and analyzing the contaminants were gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, laser-induced fluorescence, infrared monitors, colorimetric, and immunoassay test kits (Payne, 1997).
The outcomes of the project were clean up of hazardous substances and toxic industrial wastes, which had accumulated in the area for over a hundred years. This has resulted in reduced threats to health of the residents of the area and the environment. The authorities in partnership with various companies, for instance, Mignatti Companies, have started to develop the area as a multi-use facility that will be composed of housing, retail and commercial offices, restaurants, and green space. This development has led to the creation of employment opportunities, increase in tax revenues, and created a motivating drive to reclaim other Brown fields in the area to productive use. Additionally, this has led to reduced pollution of Delaware River and availed new prospects for homes and recreational facilities along the riverfront. A public site plan has been designed for a new neighborhood on the area that will be adjoining a public recreational area and reclaimed wetland along the riverfront (EPA, 2010).
Davis, T. S. (2002). Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Association. Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.
EPA. (2010). Brownfields at a Glance. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/bensalem_pa.pdf
Payne, S. M. (1997). Strategies for Accelerating Cleanup at Toxic Waste Sites: Fast-Tracking Environmental Actions and Decision Making. New York, NY: Lewis Publishers.