The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been active in identifying and mapping brownfield sites in Tennessee. See Infrastructure and Site Development for a map of sites where redevelopment has been completed.
What are Brownfields?
Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties where redevelopment or expansion may be complicated by possible environmental contamination. Brownfields are officially defined by the federal government in The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of January 11, 2002, (“Federal Brownfields Law”) as any "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." Brownfields may be commercial or industrial facilities, although the need not be. The possible contamination may be real or perceived. Typical brownfields include abandoned gas stations, old factory and mill complexes, junkyards, and mine-scarred lands.
Why is Brownfields Redevelopment Important?
Brownfields properties are often abandoned; the owners may no longer be maintaining the property or paying taxes. Productively reusing Brownfields reduces urban sprawl, increases the tax base, cleans up the environment, encourages urban revitalization and creates jobs for the community and surrounding communities, among other positive benefits. Redeveloping brownfields links economic vitality with environmental protection.