Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

Considering Reasonably Anticipated Future Land Uses at Superfund Sites

Situation

When EPA cleans up sites under the Superfund program, the current and potential future use of a property helps inform EPA’s approach. For example, site use informs sampling plans, baseline risk assessments, cleanup options and designs, and land use restrictions. EPA uses a tool called a reuse assessment to identify a property’s likely future use. Using this tool requires looking beyond zoning and past uses – information that is often outdated and may not reflect current local priorities.

At the Davis Timber Company site near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for example, land use was in flux. Wood-treating operations had been active on site for decades. However, land uses in the area were changing, with new neighborhoods nearby and a regional recreation trail extending along its southern edge.

Solution

Skeo worked with EPA on a reuse assessment that informed a cleanup with broad community support. The assessment looked at site features and contamination as well as surrounding land uses, community plans and stakeholder input. The reuse assessment indicated that recreational land uses were likely at the site in the future.

 

Outcomes

The site’s remedy is compatible with recreational uses. Today, the Davis Timber Company site is home to Breland Community Center, the Hub City Humane Society animal shelter, the Fields of Barktopia dog park, parking, trail connections and restored habitat for pollinators.

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt