Brownfields are underutilized, negatively impacted properties which have been contaminated from former use and remain in a state of under-use or non-use due to the complications resulting from real or perceived environmental pollution. When properly cleaned up and redeveloped these properties can produce a positive impact to the local area by restoring economic productivity, creating jobs and improving human health and the environment. Brownfield sites are typically located in industrial areas however some small brownfields sites like former gas stations and dry cleaners can be located in residential areas. Soil, groundwater and vapor phase contamination can be located on-site and off-site with contamination footprints that range from small areas to very large former industrial and manufacturing sites. The funding of Brownfield site remediation and redevelopment often comes from a number of sources including local (city), state, federal government grants and private developers. Time is typically of the essence at these sites as the goal is to return them to economic beneficial use and provide a return on public and private investment.
Resulting Contamination and Environmental Impacts
Most contamination at Brownfield sites is related to former industrial/manufacturing operations and includes chemicals or solvents used in industrial and manufacturing processes. Chlorinated solvents which are often used for dry cleaning operations and degreasing agents are prevalent as well as petroleum hydrocarbons that may have been used to fuel vehicles, generators and other operational equipment. Brownfields can also be marked by the presence of metals like hexavalent chromium contamination used in certain manufacturing related industries. Commingled plumes can be a factor and can form when chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons become mixed in the subsurface.
Brownfields Environmental Solutions
Soil and groundwater remediation solutions at Brownfield sites may include the following underground storage tank removal, excavations, free product removal, source treatments, migrating plume treatment, and soil treatment/mixing. These solutions can be achieved using well documented, proven and cost-effective in situ approaches such as sorption, enhanced anaerobic biodegradation (chlorinated solvents), enhanced aerobic biodegradation (petroleum) and/or in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO). REGENESIS provides a range of technologies for use at industrial/manufacturing sites which include:
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