Addressing RI Brownfields

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The Site Remediation Program

In 1995, Rhode Island passed the Industrial Property Remediation and Reuse Act (amended in 1997) and established a voluntary program for brownfields cleanup through DEM. The program encourages and supports the redevelopment and reuse of contaminated properties throughout RI. Work conducted through the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is managed under RI’s Office of Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management’s (the Office of LRSMM) Site Remediation & Brownfields Program.

Program Goals:

The goal of the program is to provide fair, comprehensive, and consistent parameters for the investigation and remediation of hazardous waste, hazardous material, and petroleum releases, implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner. The State program is designed to determine if a site poses a threat to human health and the environment and efficiently determine a remedy that is effective.

This program also supports the redevelopment and reuse of contaminated sites through the Brownfields program. Sites are identified, evaluated, cleaned up, and brought back to beneficial reuse in Rhode Island communities.

Program Purpose:

To regulate and provide technical oversight for the investigation and remediation of releases of hazardous waste or hazardous material to the environment; to ensure that those investigations and remedial activities are conducted in a consistent manner that adequately protects human health and the environment; and to enforce regulations regarding the proper disposal of abandoned hazardous materials.

Program Objectives:

  • To support the reuse and redevelopment of contaminated sites through the Brownfields program;
  • To provide a protective, efficient and cost-effective program as an alternative to the federal process and the stigma associated with it;
  • To encourage voluntary responses to contamination discovered on properties within the State;
  • To characterize and evaluate the impacts from releases of hazardous material to the environment;
  • To require and oversee the implementation of remedial actions designed to minimize, or eliminate, the impacts from releases of hazardous materials to human health and environment; and
  • To effectively track the progress and report milestone tasks completed under this program.


Targeted Brownfield Assessments (TBAs)

Targeted Brownfield Assessments (TBAs) are conducted via the Site Remediation Program’s proactive TBA Program. The TBA Program uses funding awarded by the EPA through a competitive process to assist municipalities and non-profit organizations in assessing known or potentially contaminated properties, otherwise referred to as brownfields.

In 1994, RI was awarded its first EPA grant for the assessment of brownfields. From 1994 to 2019, the State of RI has received a total of $44,217,189 in EPA funding for assessment, cleanup, and job training, which has led to many revitalized brownfield sites and successes throughout all of RI. Continued application for funding from EPA allows RIDEM to maintain and advance successes in brownfields’ investigation and remediation, and spur redevelopment.