BROWNFIELDS SITE-SPECIFIC ASSESSMENT

Hazardous Waste Program fact sheet
04/2014
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Leanne Tippett Mosby
PUB2132

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program (BVCP) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts brownfields site-specific assessments of properties for public entities such as cities, counties and quasi-governmental entities, as well as for not-for-profit organizations. Often, local governments acquire contaminated properties through foreclosure for back taxes, land donations or may own property they would like to sell for redevelopment purposes. These entities sometimes have difficulty finding adequate funding to pay for environmental assessments prior to redevelopment. The site-specific assessment program provides funding and technical assistance to help communities assess properties. Often, it is the unknown environmental condition of the property that dissuades developers. An assessment provides valuable information that can aid in making decisions regarding the future of the property. 

What are brownfields?
The term brownfield means real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which is complicated by the presence, potential presence or perceived presence of a hazardous substance. 

Why are environmental site assessments important?
Environmental site assessments determine if contamination is present, and to some degree, the extent of the contamination present at a property. The assessment provides answers to many of the questions regarding potential cleanup costs and environmental liability associated with brownfield properties. Potential buyers of a brownfield may reduce their liability if the appropriate environmental site assessments are performed prior to purchase. An environmental site assessment conducted in a manner to meet the requirements of an all appropriate inquiry (AAI) gives the purchaser certain protections from liability under the federal Superfund Law. 

What is all appropriate Inquiry?
All appropriate Inquiry, or AAI, is a process of evaluating a property’s environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for any contamination. Participants who receive EPA grant funding to assess brownfield properties must comply with the AAI standards. A phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) conducted according to the ASTM International, standard 1527-13 satisfies the AAI requirement. 

What type of information is collected during the inquiry and phase I assessment?
The following information is collected during the phase I assessment:

The goal of the phase I assessment is to identify recognized environmental conditions that may be further investigated in the phase II assessment. A recognized environmental condition is defined by ASTM International 1527-13 as the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, ground water or surface water of the property. If the phase I assessment does not identify any recognized environmental conditions, a phase II assessment is not needed. If a phase I assessment identifies any recognized environmental conditions, a phase II assessment may be conducted.

What types of sampling may be conducted during the phase II assessment?
The following media may be sampled during a phase II assessment:

How does an eligible entity receive brownfields site-specific assessment assistance from the department?
An eligible entity (city, county, quasi-governmental or non-profit) would fill out the “Brownfields Assessment Application” along with the consent for access agreement signed by the property owner and submit both to the program. After the application process is complete, the department would hire an environmental contractor to provide a proposal for an assessment. The “Brownfields Assessment Application” form (780-1955) is available online at www.missouribrownfields.com. 

Why is redevelopment of brownfields important?
Redevelopment of brownfields potentially benefits the environment, the community and industry by:

What type of report is generated by the department?
The department’s contractors will complete a phase I assessment report in compliance with ASTM International 1527-13 standards to include, at a minimum, the following sections:

What if contamination is found on the property?
Should the assessment reveal contamination on the property, the department will contact the applicant to discuss the following options:

For more information
If you are interested in requesting a brownfields site-specific assessment on your property or a property you are considering purchasing contact the department at:

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Hazardous Waste Program
Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
800-361-4827 or 573-526-8913
573-526-4817 fax
www.dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp
www.missouribrownfields.com