Environmental Protection Agency Powers Up Contaminated Sites into Renewable Energy

BIOMASS ENRGY PRODUCTIONWashington, D.C. -(RUSHPRNEWS) Sept. 24, 2008--In a novel approach to return land to productive use, EPA has identified thousands of properties that could potentially host solar, wind or biomass energy production facilities. EPA pinpointed these energy assets using Google Earth and has listed each property’s attributes for energy redevelopment.

“EPA is putting renewable energy production on the virtual map,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Our new interactive Website encourages states and energy companies to put previously contaminated properties back to work.”

EPA worked with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to collect information on renewable energy availability across the country, and merged it with EPA’s data from several land cleanup programs. In addition, EPA applied screening criteria including distance from power lines, closeness to roads, and site acreage to identify sites that are good candidates for hosting renewable energy production facilities.

In producing the interactive state maps, EPA used information on properties from several land cleanup programs, including abandoned mine lands and lands under EPA’s Superfund, Brownfields, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act programs.

These properties have varying levels of historic contamination. Contamination at some of these properties has already been addressed, while the level of contamination at others is still to be fully investigated. It is likely that some of the brownfields properties have little historic contamination. The appropriate steps to address the contamination at these properties will vary from site to site, depending on the nature of the contamination and intended reuse.

The properties offer a number of attractive features for the development of renewable energy facilities including:

• appropriate location, useful infrastructure, such as transmission lines and roads, and appropriate zoning for development;
• landowners and local communities that are often eager to see new economic uses for these properties;
• an alternative to using green spaces, which may help reduce community concerns about the effects of a planned renewable energy facility.

Information about renewable energy development potential on contaminated lands:
http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland
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Sent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency • 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW • Washington DC 20460 • 202-564-4355

 EPA -Contact Information: Latisha Petteway (202) 564-4355 / petteway.latisha@epa.gov

—-2008 Report on the Environment: Highlights of National Trends

Contact: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

EPA today released the “2008 Report on the Environment: Highlights of National Trends” (2008 ROE HD), which provides the American people with an important resource for better understanding trends in our nation’s health and environment. The report is intended for a general audience and summarizes highlights of the more comprehensive “EPA’s 2008 Report on the Environment,” which was released in May, and provided the scientific and technical information. Together the two reports present national environmental trends and inform EPA’s strategic planning process with the best available, scientifically sound information.

EPA also launched a new Web site that allows the user to search the full technical report for specific trends in air, water, and land.

The 2008 ROE HD, ROE and searchable eROE: http://www.epa.gov/roe

Photo: Canada Natural Resources