EPA’s Brownfields Program Aids in Redeveloping Contaminated Properties in City of Columbia

Columbia, S.C. (December 5, 2017) – EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to safely clean up and sustainably reuse qualified contaminated properties in the City of Columbia.  A brownfield property is one that may be complicated by, or have the stigma of being complicated by, the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, controlled substances or petroleum/petroleum products.  Sites that often qualify include:

  • Solvent contamination sources – former dry cleaners, printers, junkyards, auto repair facilities
  • Hazardous waste/waste sites – former industrial/manufacturing properties, treatment/storage/disposal (TSD) facilities, landfills
  • Petroleum contamination sites – former distribution facilities, convenience stores, automobile repair facilities

During the process, the potential purchaser applies with DHEC as a Non-Responsible Party (NRP), asserting the intended reuse of the property will not be similar to the current operation or exacerbate the current contamination.  Once approved, the NRP can enter into a Voluntary Cleanup Contract (VCC) managed by DHEC.

The inception of the Brownfields program signifies the first time that a documented contaminated property can be bought and redeveloped without environmental liability to the new owner.  The indemnity is transferrable to any subsequent owner.

Redevelopment of these once contaminated properties has the added benefits of job creation and increasing the local tax base, in addition to taking the pressure off undeveloped and underutilized property.

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