The primary goal of the EPA’s cleanup enforcement program is to ensure that contaminated sites are cleaned up promptly, with maximum participation by responsible parties, and in a manner that protects human health and the environment. Over the years, the EPA has focused on encouraging the assessment, cleanup, reuse, and redevelopment of formerly contaminated sites (or sites with perceived contamination) as a way to revitalize underused or abandoned areas while helping to preserve greenspace. With the implementation of a “sustainable action plan,” the EPA will work to incorporate the principles of sustainability into its policies and programs. Because of its unique relationship to contaminated sites, the cleanup enforcement program is in a position to work through the Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) initiative with other program offices within EPA to help further promote sustainable redevelopment at these sites.
The EPA understands that enforcement incentives may not be appropriate for every contaminated site, but developers may still be willing to consider sustainable development in exchange for other incentives, including receiving knowledge and information about sustainable development. To address this possibility, EPA’s cleanup enforcement program will help facilitate the use of these other incentives within a network of internal EPA and external partners so that developers have easy access to other incentives, resources, and assistance.