Brownfield Site

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In general, a Brownfield site (or Brownfield) is a piece of land where potential expansion, reuse or new development might not be possible due to the presence of harmful substances, pollutants, or contaminants. These sites vary in size, location and in their past history.


In United Kingdom, Brownfield is defined as "previously developed land" (or PDL) that has the potential to be redeveloped, but need not always refer to land that has been used for industrial and commercial purposes. Though a government survey in UK shows that the 2008 target of constructing 60% of new homes on Brownfields has been achieved, there are still 150,000 sites under the Brownfield sector. In comparison, there are about 80,000 and 100,000 Brownfields in Australia.
The nature of contamination of Brownfields could be real or perceived. When a land is declared a Brownfield, it is possible that the contaminants could include deposits of heavy metals, harmful pesticides and toxic hydrocarbons. This contamination can result from improper environmental management and inefficient waste disposal practices, or unwarranted use of contaminated fill to level the site. It could also result due to unsealed underground storage tanks and random spills in industrial, agricultural or commercial activities. Specific industries and common land activities have been tied to site contamination. The extent of contamination may vary based on the rate and extent of the concerned activities. Brownfield sites pose legal and financial burdens on a community. However, these sites can be redeveloped into powerful engines for economic vitality and community pride.
Brownfield sites are mostly in e ...
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