Characteristics and Land Use of Contaminated Brownfield Properties in Voluntary Cleanup Agreement Programs

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This paper reports exploratory empirical research on the property characteristics and land use of contaminated brownfield properties. This research investigated 1415 contaminated brownfield properties in environmental cleanup programs in the states of New York and Texas in the US. This research attempts to clarify some confusion about contaminated brownfield sites, provide detailed information on the diverse land uses that caused the contamination on these properties, and to provide a better base of knowledge about brownfield sites that may be used in developing and implementing policy to remediate and redevelop contaminated brownfields properties in both older industrial regions and in more recently industrialized regions. This research analyzed land use data for these properties at the time they became contaminated and at the time they entered the environmental cleanup program. It also attempts to identify similarities and differences in the characteristics of the properties in these two states with strikingly different histories of industrialization. Several common assumptions about brownfield properties are extracted from the literature review and tested using the data. Some of our results are surprising, including the variety of past land uses of these contaminated brownfield properties and the differences in the history of land use and the characteristics of the properties in the older versus newer industrial region.

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Land Use Policy

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