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 Using this tool requires looking beyond zoning and past uses – information that is often outdated and may not reflect current local priorities.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.