Thursday, April 2, 2020

Brownfields Essay Example

Brownfields Essay Brownfields are abandoned, idled or under-used and industrial commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by environmental contamination. These areas are scattered all through out the nation and are more numerous in areas that are industrial centers. The redevelopment of brownfields are supported by all agencies of the government, the Department of Transportation made a policy that would enable the availability of funds for the redevelopment of brownfields, the DOT believed that brownfield redevelopment with transportation programs can bring new jobs, services and amenities to a neighborhood, reduce vehicle miles of travel, reduce time spent in congestion and increase the viability of transit, walking and biking. Brownfields and transportation are connected in ways that create opportunities to accomplish transportation, economic, community and environmental goals. Transportation facilities play a major role in commerce and industry, in the past industrial plants were always located near transportation facilities. However, transportation and economic changes have shifted number industrial operations away from centers of transportation. As the case maybe, transportation is key to brownfield redevelopment, as it gives access to people and goods, this would include fixing existing highways, waterways and public transportation and the other transportation related use of the land like intermodal terminals and bus barns. The local government together with the community are interested in the redevelopment of brownfields as an existing brownfield would lower property values, stifles local investment and be an environmental threat, in the same way the local government see redevelopment as bringing in jobs, increase in taxes and make use of taxpayer’s investment in infrastructure. Thus, the federal, state and local government coordinates to achieve these goals through the Transportation Improvement Program. To the communities, re-using brownfields through transportation investments would later on bring transportation benefits. We will write a custom essay sample on Brownfields specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Brownfields specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Brownfields specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer The redevelopment of brownfields would also improve the environment by lessening or eradicating contamination in these sites. As well as reviving measures to control the quality of water and air and the conservation of open spaces. The protection of open spaces reduces conversion of land to impervious surfaces which is very critical in the maintenance of watershed health. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) has a projected budget of $198 billion for transportation spending for 1998 to 2003. The act supports brownfield redevelopment through a number of funding programs. For new highways, roads or bridge construction on brownfields, there’s the National Highway System, Surface Transportation Program, Bridges, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and the Transportation Enhancements. For the construction of new transit lines or station, there’s the Transit Capital Investment Grants and Loans, the Urbanized and Non-urbanized Area Formula Grant Program. The improvement of railroads in brownfields can be funded through the Rail Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program. In improving pedestrian and/or bicycle access can be channeled through the National Highway System and the Transportation Enhancements. For recreational trails a funding from Recreational Trails is available and innovative sust ainability projects can be pursued through grants from the Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program. In order to receive TEA-21 funds to redevelop a brownfield site, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) state must have a transportation clause in the project and should be included in the Long-Range Transportation Plan and its Transportation Improvement Program. In general almost all funds allocated under the TEA-21 are disbursed through the standard planning and TIP process. The MPO has the obligation to coordinate with air quality planning and encourage public involvement as required by federal law. The Long-Range Transportation plans are created to project a 20 year transportation development program. The project however needs to satisfy the following criteria to be included in the LRT, the project must help advance state or regional transportation objectives, it should be able to provide information about the financial resources of the project and the impact on air quality of the project should not violate National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Evaluating a brownfield redev elopment project proposal requires reviewing financial, environmental, social and legal considerations of the project. Another means of acquiring federal funding is for the organization or state to apply directly to the DOT for grants and loans provided under the TEA-21, wherein Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot grants and the Rail Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans are the most relevant to brownfield projects. The TCSP grants were given to innovative transportation projects which must meet the goals of TCSP which includes reducing the impacts of transportation on the environment, reducing the need for costly future public infrastructure investments, to ensure efficient access to jobs, services and centers of trade and lastly examining private sector development patterns and investments that support TCSP goals. In the TCSP program, public entities are eligible to get finds form the federal government without a state or regional MPO intermediary. Municipal governments, MPO’s, states agencies, school boards, air and park districts and public transit agencies are eligible to apply for the TCSP loan. The Rail Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program give out loans and loan guarantees for acquiring, improving, developing or rehabilitating intermodal or rail equipment facilities, this is available to local governments, and government sponsored authorities, corporations, railroads and joint ventures with at least one railroad. In conclusion it was reported that transportations funds can be used to clean up environmental contamination on brownfields if it is a part of the transportation project. It can also be sued to stimulate private sector revitalization of brownfields, as well as provide an opportunity for the collaboration of stakeholders and meeting public goals. Funding is available for such projects but the application process takes a lengthy route and that limited funding is available directly form federal government. There have been a number of projects that involved redeveloping brownfields which ranged from the construction of roads, a new bridge, a parkway and an intermodal terminal. In Portland, Oregon a new road was built to improve access to deepwater port and cleaned up a 2,800-acre Rivergate Industrial District, it also increased the value of land in the industrial area and initiated the expansion of manufacturing and shipping operations. Portland encapsulated the contaminated soils at a former pesticide-formulating plant with new road surface. In Lawrence, Massachusetts a new bridge was constructed to improve transportation access and infrastructure, it supported economic development, it improved pedestrian traffic as well as remediation of environmental contamination.   The project not only will clean a downtown brownfield but also create a new park and pedestrian walkway. A parkway in Buffalo, New York linked the industrial areas of Buffalo and the regional road network which then im proved transportation and develop under-used areas which are also brownfields. The construction of the parkway also satisfied American Axle’s needs for access and re-engineering obsolete infrastructure. Since the project was privately funded it had significant support form federal and state governments. An intermodal terminal in Salt Lake City, Utah was funded by congress with a $40 million budget as part of the brownfield redevelopment. When the Interstate 15 was redesigned it opened an opportunity to develop an old rail yard to an intermodal hub. The city will also be participating in the Utah Voluntary Cleanup Program to serves as a protection form environmental contamination. These examples reiterate that developing brownfields are beneficial to the community although it entails a complex weaving of government and community efforts as well as the liability to ascertain that contamination can be eradicated or managed.

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