Targeted Brownfield Assessment Program
Kentucky's Targeted Brownfield Assessment (TBA) Program offers environmental site assessments at no cost to local governments, nonprofit organizations, and quasi-governmental organizations. This service is provided to help local entities navigate the redevelopment process and pursue certain brownfield benefits such as liability relief and cleanup funding.
Redeveloping brownfields typically begins with identifying sites, assessing potential contamination, and, if necessary, analyzing samples to further evaluate the site. Once the site is assessed, the focus shifts to liability relief, cleanup, and redevelopment. To be considered for liability relief and other brownfield benefits, however, the assessment must be conducted before acquiring the property. This is why the TBA Program is an excellent opportunity for local entities that want to put brownfield properties back into productive use. Once a TBA is performed, program staff can help entities determine the future path of the property, pursue liability protection, and/or apply for cleanup funding.
Assessment terminology can be difficult to understand, but the overall concept of conducting assessments is to obtain environmental information. With respect to liability relief and grant funding eligibility, it is important to understand that a Phase I environmental site assessment performed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) standard is required before taking ownership of the property. Further clarification for these terms is provided below.
All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI)
All Appropriate Inquiry refers to the requirements for assessing the environmental conditions of a property prior to its acquisition. Phase I assessments that adhere to this standard must be performed prior to the purchase of a property in order to make owners eligible for Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser status and federal brownfield cleanup grants.
Phase I Assessment
This is the first step in the full site assessment process. This is essentially a review of past uses of the property to determine if there is the potential that the property is contaminated. Typical activities performed in this phase include, but are not limited to, a review of historical maps, interviews with persons familiar with the property, a review of state and federal environmental records, and an analysis of hydrogeological conditions. At completion, the report will outline conclusions and make recommendations for further action if needed. Some properties are cleared by this process, while others may require further testing and a Phase II assessment.
Phase II Assessment
A Phase II assessment is conducted to confirm or disprove the presence of contaminants. The testing also helps determine what contaminants are present, where they are located, and the level of contamination. Phase II activities include soil samples to screen for chemical or metal contamination, groundwater or surface water sampling, and testing of materials found in buildings. The findings of the Phase II assessment and the end use of the property will determine the cleanup standards for the site.