Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property

Vol. 26 No. 4

Reviewed by

Todd S. Davis, Scott A. Sherman, Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2010, Third Edition.

A “brownfield site” . . . means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

— Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601(39)(A)

Brownfield sites are often associated with urbanized, heavy industrial areas—abandoned factories and plants—but the definition encompasses small sites, such as former gas stations in suburban or rural areas. According to one of the authors, Todd Davis, “[b]rownfields sometimes are defined as the opposite of ‘greenfields’—property that has not previously been used for commercial or industrial activities and is presumed free of contamination.” According to Davis, brownfields fall into four categories:

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