Redevelopment of our existing land is critical for the sustainability of our planet, but it is important that properties that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental issues are properly addressed before moving forward. Known as brownfields, these abandoned, vacant, idle or underutilized properties are avoided for redevelopment due to an actual or suspected environmental cause. Leaaf’s Brownfields Team helps navigate the redevelopment process, relying on local and federal standards and regulations to ensure protection of the environment as well as human health.

Types of Brownfield Properties

  • Abandoned Gasoline Stations

  • Dry Cleaners

  • Vacant Historic Buildings

  • Asbestos or Lead Paint in Buildings

  • Industrial Complexes

  • Vacant Lots

Constituents of concern may be found in soil, water, or air surrounding these properties due to industrial, commercial, or agricultural use. By properly remediating these properties and removing or reducing the effects of the contaminants, potential health risks to both residents and pets, as well as ongoing environmental damage, can be reduced. Depending on the specific contaminants found on the site, and the projected redevelopment type, various cleanup procedures are used to meet safe reuse standards.

EXCAVATION - Constituents of concern, as well as impacted soil, are dug up and transported offsite for treatment and disposal. The excavated area is filled with clean soil to create a level area.

TANK REMOVAL - If soil is impacted by a gasoline or chemical tank, the tank is removed and any soil that has been compromised is removed and the site filled.

CAPPING - Using a geotextile fabric and soil, a barrier is created to prevent the migration of impacted soil.

ON-SITE TREATMENT - Also called “in-situ” treatment, chemicals are used to break down contaminants or reduce their toxicity, while binding or chemical agents may be added to prevent the migration of contaminants.

BIOREMEDIATION - Adding nutrients, oxygen or chemicals that release oxygen to increase microbial growth allow for natural breakdown of contaminants.

PHYTOREMEDIATION - Select plants can reduce soil and water impacts through substances released by their root system.

LEAD & ASBESTOS ABATEMENT - Requiring the work of a licensed, specially-trained contractor, removal includes the use of specialized equipment and may require the involvement of regulatory environmental or public agencies.

When considering a property for redevelopment, Leaaf provides a variety of services aimed at overcoming any barriers that may exist, considering both the social and urban environments and surrounding communities that will be impacted. Assisting cities, towns, regional planning commissions, communities, non-profits, realtors, and developers, by conducting an assessment and area-wide planning to understand the community’s needs for the property, Leaaf’s professionals can define a path forward that includes collecting and evaluating site information in order to develop a cleanup plan for the impacted property.

From conducting a cost analysis that includes evaluation of risks and remediation alternatives and assisting with bid specifications, compliance and closure negotiation, our experienced team is there to assist throughout the project. Offering remedial oversight, construction inspection, and long-term monitoring of the site, there are many benefits to the redevelopment of environmentally impacted properties.

Benefits of Redevelopment

  • Reducing blight in communities

  • Reducing risks of exposure to environmental contamination

  • Returning properties to viable, taxable use

  • Adding jobs during cleanup and construction

  • Adding jobs once redevelopment is complete

  • Reducing maintenance costs by utilizing existing infrastructure 

  • Creating spaces for community use

  • Key locations may be eligible for tax credits/financial incentives

Remediation of existing, environmentally impacted properties into those ready for redevelopment is one of the most practical and sustainable construction options. Louisiana has a long history in assisting with this type of redevelopment, and with Leaaf’s combined 90 years of experience, we provide a variety of services for brownfields cleanup and reuse. Give us a call today to learn more.