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image:filtered light in the forest

Toxics Cleanup Program

Brownfields Revitalization

What is a Brownfield?

Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused properties where there may be environmental contamination. Redevelopment efforts are often hindered by the liability for the cleanup or the uncertainty of cleanup costs. Brownfield sites that aren’t cleaned up represent lost opportunities for economic development and for other community improvements.

How do Brownfields Impact My Community?

Brownfields can:
  • Harm human health and the environment
  • Limit job growth, economic development and tax revenue
  • Reduce surrounding property values
  • Contribute to neighborhood crime

Why Redevelop a Brownfield?

Cleanup and redevelopment can turn a perceived problem into a community asset. A restored brownfield can stimulate a community’s economy, save green space from development, and provide an opportunity for habitat restoration or park creation.  A city or town can restore properties to active use, increase jobs and the local tax base, mitigate public health and safety concerns, and improve community image.

What Agencies are Involved in Brownfields Revitalization?

Washington State has a cooperative approach to brownfields cleanup and redevelopment.  Technical assistance, grants and a revolving loan program are available through state agencies and private consultants.

The Department of Ecology manages cleanups under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and administers cleanup grants.

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) manages the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund and provides technical assistance to parties interested in redeveloping. Commerce also provides other revitalization grants and loans

Ecology and Commerce work closely with EPA Region 10 brownfields staff and routinely collaborate on strategies to assist communities.

Brownfields Coalition: Technical assistance in submitting applications for a revolving fund loan or coordinating site assessments is done in partnership with King County/City of Seattle, City of Tacoma, and the City of Spokane.

Brownfields:  Revitalizing contaminated property for reuse.

Search for Contaminated Sites:

Laws, policies and other information:

Useful Publications and Links:


Brownfields Grant Technical Assistance Workshop

April 29, 2015

Policy Studies

UW Brownfields Study, Feb. 2009

Brownfields Policy Recommendations, Sept. 2011

Remedial Action Grants for Local Governments 2013-2015 Guidance

Brownfields Integrated Planning Grants

Alan Bogner