Environmental Cleanup Success Stories

By bsozak | September 11, 2013

fb2_brownfield_cleanupWhen so much harm to the environment is happening all around us, it’s great to hear about environmental cleanup stories that helped improve the conditions of the environment while helping to promote economic activity in an area. I recently read through a few great success stories on the EPA website, and I thought I would highlight a few of the best ones that I read about.

Site F – Babylon, NY

Located on Long Island, New York, Babylon is a fairly economically depressed area, with much of its history involved with manufacturing and blue collar work. When many manufacturing companies and jobs left, the area was left with a few vacant properties that contained harmful petroleum based products in the soil and groundwater. A crew of environmental consultants came in and performed Phase I & II environmental site assessments to determine that environmental cleanups needed to be performed. That involved consolidating the three vacant properties together so they could be owned by the city and used as a property for revitalization purposes. They then demolished an old structure that was used for previous manufacturing activities.

With the help of the environmental consultants, the brownfield was cleaned up and made safe to the public. The site is expected to become the future location of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Center. This will allow additional employment to the area, and provide the residents with better healthcare. You can read more about the cleanup here.

Paper Mill – Brewer, Maine

Located across the river from Bangor, Maine, Brewer used to be a hub for paper manufacturing activities throughout much of the early 20th century. Demand began to decline, and in 2000 the company filed for bankruptcy protection, and officially filed for bankruptcy in 2004. That left the community with over 400 people out of jobs and a 40 acre property that needed to be cleaned up.

An environmental site assessment was performed by Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection, which concluded that tons of environmentally hazardous materials needed to be removed immediately to avoid contamination. With the help of a few grants, the cleanup process went smoothly, and the city was lucky enough to be approached by Cinabro Corporation. Cinabro works in the marine, commercial, and industrial industry, which works perfect with Brewer’s proximity to their river. The city will potentially have 500 great jobs from the deal, and the site will be operated much cleaner than it was previously. You can read more of the cleanup here.

Farm Equipment – Canton IL

Located in Canton IL was a 33 acre site that was used to manufacture farm equipment products starting way back in 1850, but with increased overseas competition, the plant was closed in 1984. That resulted in over 3,000 people losing their jobs, which had a big impact on the city which only had a population of 15,000. A tire recycling company moved in, which didn’t last long, and resulted in the largest fire in Canton history. Eventually the EPA stepped in and provided a few grants to remove underground storage tanks, asbestos, charred brick and other harmful chemicals from the site. Today a developer has committed to the cleaned up area, which will be used for commercial and retail development and bringing more jobs to the area. For more info on the cleanup project visit here.

is a blogger who enjoys writing about environmental products, services, people and solutions to help make a more sustainable world.

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