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Policy Revision to Support the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative


U.S. Department
of Transportation

Federal Highway


INFORMATION: Policy Revision to Support the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative


Director, Office of Environment and Planning


Regional Federal Highway Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Program Administrator

In the light of the President's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative, the soon to be announced list of Brownfields Showcase Communities, and several ISTEA reauthorization issues concerning sustainable development, the FHWA has revised its existing policy on hazardous waste and contaminated sites. The new policy supports the Brownfields Initiative by encouraging participation in transportation projects that include the use and redevelopment of contaminated sites when appropriate. This revised policy replaces the policy set forth in the interim guidance issued in 1988, which emphasized the avoidance of all contaminated properties as a first consideration during the FHWA NEPA process and other related transportation development activities.

Attached is a discussion of the new policy on the use of contaminated properties and its relationship to the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative. The information contains background on the Initiative, including the participation of the DOT and the FHWA. In the near future, the FHWA will issue guidance on the revised policy that will supersede the 1988 interim guidance

The Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative, administered by the EPA, provides assistance and incentives to States, local communities, and the private sector for the assessment, clean-up, and economic reuse of contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used commercial, industrial, and institutional properties where redevelopment and reuse are complicated by light to moderate contamination from hazardous substances and wastes. These properties are most often in urban areas previously used by industrial and commercial operations that generated waste materials

Please direct any comments or questions you may have on this policy change and information to the following members of my staff: Mr. Fred Bank at (202) 366-5004 or Mr. Sheldon Edner at (202) 366-9227.


Kevin E. Heanue


Updated: 3/17/2016
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