Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative

What is a Brownfield?

A brownfield is defined as a “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,” according to the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2001. Brownfields can be anywhere—cities and suburbs, rural and tribal communities, and along the coastlines.

How GSA helps

As a founding member of the Brownfields National Partnership, which encompasses 28 organizations, including more than 15 federal agencies, GSA demonstrates its commitment to brownfield redevelopment in the following ways:

  • Identifies vacant or underused federal properties whose remediation and reuse can bolster community revitalization efforts.
  • Understands real estate transactions and some of the key players in the insurance, finance, and development industries.
  • Knows federal disposal authorities and regulations. As an honest broker, GSA works with the EPA in better focusing its brownfield assessment and cleanup efforts to support final reuse and redevelopment of federal properties.  
  • Saves tax dollars when it disposes of or sells vacant or underused federal properties and represents the federal government as a good neighbor to the communities where these buildings reside.

How Does Brownfields Redevelopment Help Local Communities?

Brownfields redevelopment presents an opportunity to help the environment, boost local economies, and increase the overall quality of life. This program receives broad support among local communities for the following reasons:

  • Serves as a catalyst for development projects to provide jobs, contributes to the local tax base, promotes economic development, and enhances public spaces.
  • Makes efficient use of existing infrastructure while providing an alternative to developing green fields of open space and contributing to suburban sprawl.

GSA's Memorandum of Agreement [PDF - 792.67 KB] with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2003 to promote the reuse of underutilized federal properties through the Early Transfer Authority.

Click here for more information on Federal Property Disposal.

Last Reviewed 2015-04-09