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The Basics About Getting Involved with Contaminated Sites February 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "The Basics About Getting Involved with Contaminated Sites February 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Basics About Getting Involved with Contaminated Sites February 2008

2 What Do We Mean by Contaminated Sites? DEM Regulates Contaminated Sites:DEM Regulates Contaminated Sites: –Properties found to have levels in excess of any of the standards required to be reported to DEM (e.g. lead, arsenic, VOCs). Goal is to Mitigate Risk from ContaminationGoal is to Mitigate Risk from Contamination Includes Superfund sites, DoD sites, sites w/ leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), and all other state sites requiring some sort of cleanup.Includes Superfund sites, DoD sites, sites w/ leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), and all other state sites requiring some sort of cleanup.

3 Brownfields Brownfields = Subset of Contaminated Sites Properties being investigated or cleaned up as a result of property transferBrownfields = Subset of Contaminated Sites Properties being investigated or cleaned up as a result of property transfer Goal is to mitigate risk from contamination and facilitate reuse and redevelopmentGoal is to mitigate risk from contamination and facilitate reuse and redevelopment Sites where potential liability for actual or suspected contamination is a barrier to reuse or redevelopment.Sites where potential liability for actual or suspected contamination is a barrier to reuse or redevelopment. Often driven by economic development efforts.Often driven by economic development efforts. However, can also be motivated by other community needs for land/facilities.However, can also be motivated by other community needs for land/facilities.

4 Who are the Likely Players Involved in the Cleanup of Contaminated Sites? Developers & property ownersDevelopers & property owners Banks/lendersBanks/lenders Environmental consultantsEnvironmental consultants DEM (state regulatory agency)DEM (state regulatory agency) Local government (planning, zoning, etc)Local government (planning, zoning, etc) Citizens/community organizationsCitizens/community organizations

5 What Does All This Mean for Residents/Neighborhoods Near These Sites? There are risks associated with living near contaminated sites.There are risks associated with living near contaminated sites. There is an opportunity for residents & organizations to get involved in the cleanup and redevelopment process.There is an opportunity for residents & organizations to get involved in the cleanup and redevelopment process. Asking questions about the cleanup and redevelopment process is critical (construction? trucks? fences? contact person if problems?)Asking questions about the cleanup and redevelopment process is critical (construction? trucks? fences? contact person if problems?)

6 There is a Risk Associated with the Site –Soil: Eat it, put it on your skin, track it into your home –Air: Vapors move indoors, landfill gas –Water: Surface water and groundwater These risks can vary depending upon whether the contamination is entirely within the boundaries of the site or if the contamination has migrated off the site into surrounding property. These risks can vary depending upon whether the contamination is entirely within the boundaries of the site or if the contamination has migrated off the site into surrounding property.

7 You (as a Resident/Concerned Citizen/Local Organization) Can Get Involved Lean about the site’s history - residents are a great source of information about a sites history (which companies? what chemicals?)Lean about the site’s history - residents are a great source of information about a sites history (which companies? what chemicals?) Get involved as early as possible with city & developer when cleanup & reuse are being plannedGet involved as early as possible with city & developer when cleanup & reuse are being planned Take advantage of public meetings.Take advantage of public meetings.

8 Asking Questions about a Site Cleanup is Critical…. Helps Communities Know What to Expect Timing?Timing? Noise?Noise? Traffic?Traffic? Is waste treated onsite or trucked through neighborhood?Is waste treated onsite or trucked through neighborhood? Dust/smell?Dust/smell? Site fenced off? How long will cleanup and construction last? How will the public be provided with information about the site - signs? meetings?

9 Stay Connected….and Be a Connector DEM has project managers who can answer questions about a particular contaminated site.DEM has project managers who can answer questions about a particular contaminated site. City planning departments are often involved with the project and are a good source of information.City planning departments are often involved with the project and are a good source of information. DEM Brownfields Assessment Program has $$$ available to help municipalities and non-profits investigate sites so they can be productively reused.DEM Brownfields Assessment Program has $$$ available to help municipalities and non-profits investigate sites so they can be productively reused.

10 Resources Brownfields – Turning Bad Places into Good Spaces (English & Spanish)Brownfields – Turning Bad Places into Good Spaces (English & Spanish) RI DEM Office of Waste Management dex.htmRI DEM Office of Waste Management dex.htm dex.htm dex.htm Reinvesting in Rhode Island’s BrownfieldsReinvesting in Rhode Island’s Brownfields EPA Region 1 Brownfields in New EnglandEPA Region 1 Brownfields in New England

11 Questions? Elizabeth Stone RI DEM x2422


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