Brownfields - 128a & 104k
What is a Brownfield?
With certain legal exclusions and additions, the term "brownfield site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands. (EPA)
The purpose of the Brownfields program is to clean up "areas which may have been complicated by the presence or potential presence of a pollutant, hazardous substance, or contaminant", in creating opportunity to reuse, redevelop on the land for future uses.
For everything regarding "Brownfields", its overview, definitions, and programs, jump to the link: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfield-overview-and-definition
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) falls under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 which covers the Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada.
To see the locations of all current US EPA Region 9 Brownfield Grants, click on the link: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/bf_grants_map_cities_7_15.pdf
Section 128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million grant program to establish and enhance state and tribal response programs. CERCLA section 128(a) response program grants are funded with categorical State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) appropriations. Section 128(a) cooperative agreements are awarded and administered by the EPA regional offices. Generally, these response programs address the assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment of brownfields sites and other sites with actual or perceived contamination. (https://www.epa.gov)
104(k) Brownfields (Hazardous Substances & Petroleum)
Assessment grants provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfields sites. An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 to assess a site contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $200,000 to address a site contaminated by petroleum.
What is an Environmental Site Assessment?
Some prospective investors may look for a commercial or private property to purchase, whether it be for economic use or simply to build a home. However, these properties may have been previously used for commercial and industrial purposes. Over time, not knowingly aware that the property may have been contaminated due to industrial operations in the past. With no knowledge of the environmental issues, Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) have been developed to look into those environmental issues that are associated with the property. Environmental Site Assessments can be very helpful in minimizing risks and costs when looking into a property to purchase. Environmental Site Assessments are done in two phases:
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
A Phase I ESA consists of non-intrusive site inspections and reviewing of records, and interviews with owners, local government officials, occupants and neighbors. These environmental site assessments are conducted by an Environmental Professional trained and knowledgeable of the appropriate standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). In respect to the ASTM Standards, to ensure a quality assessment of the site, reviewing of records, interviews and site inspection are done over a period of time (30-60 Days). With the assessment done, this could determine whether there's contamination present at the site, and this would lead to conducting a Phase II ESA.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
A Phase I ESA has determined there is a potential contamination at the site by hazardous substances and/or petroleum, this paves way to a Phase II ESA. Since a Phase I ESA is non-intrusive, a Phase II ESA is intrusive and involves sampling, analysis to confirm the extent of the contamination and what type of contaminants are present within the subject site. Some types of tests include the following:
- With the various types of tests, and depending on the results from laboratory analysis, this can determine the remedial actions to clean up the contaminated property. After a cleanup action has been done, confirmation sampling is taken at the site again to determine whether the contamination is below the "Tropical Pacific Environmental Screening Levels" (TPESLs) and deemed safe.
For more information regarding previous Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments done on Brownfield sites contaminated by petroleum and/or hazardous substances, please check out the Public Record. (http://cnmideqpublicrecord.weebly.com).
Managaha Island Cleanup Action