The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a Brownfields as "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". The actual presence of contaminants must be determined by a planned investigation known as an environmental site assessment (ESA). 

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 made the purchaser of any real property liable for any contaminants on this property. CERCLA's retroactive liability has made the performance of an ESA a practical necessity for any potential buyer of property, who naturally does not want to assume liability for the cleanup of any contaminants found there. 

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned, blighted or underused because of real or potential environmental contamination from past industrial or commercial practices. Often the potential liability associated with contamination complicates business development, property transactions or expansion on the property. Now communities, developers, government officials and others, are working to change the way we manage and regulate Brownfields to encourage redevelopment of these sites. 

According to the EPA, there are presently over half a million Brownfields in the United States, but this number only includes sites for which an ESA has been conducted. The actual number of Brownfields is certainly many times greater. Revitalization of unproductive Brownfields has become an important issue for federal, state, and local governments as well as for real estate developers, law firms, and banking and insurance interests. Many possible Brownfields sites sit idle and unused because the cost of cleaning these sites can be high and uncertain. Remediation and redevelopment of Brownfields is key to creating jobs, expanding the tax base, and revitalizing the economy of local communities. 

Federal and state programs have evolved to assist developers interested in cleaning up Brownfields sites and redeveloping them for productive use. These programs provide technical assistance, regulatory guidance, liability protection, tax incentives, loans, as well as funding for ESAs, job training and cleanup. GRI has a portfolio of successful Brownfields projects ranging from industrial, municipal and multi-parcel projects to former gas stations.


GRI Brownfields Consulting Services include:

  • Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments
  • Asbestos, Mold, Lead Paint, Indoor Air Quality, Wetland, and Vapor Intrusion Evaluations and Surveys
  • Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) - Comparison of Brownfields Program Options Versus Other Regulatory Options
  • Brownfields Eligibility Application Submittals
  • Corrective Action Planning
  • Brownfields Cleanup
  • Annual Monitoring and Reporting
  • Community Outreach Services
  • Preparing Brownfields Inventories and Inventory Screening Criteria
  • Quality Assurance Program Plan QAPP Preparation
  • Health and Safety Plan Preparation
  • GIS Database Services

Why GRI?

GRI has experience in assisting with all levels of the Brownfields process from application assistance to site assessment and remediation to development of the site.

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