The Brownfields Project identifies, assesses, and creates remediation plans for mine-scarred sites
Three general qualifications are used to identify primary target brownfield sites. Those that:
- contaminatethe watershed,
- pose possible public health and environmental health concerns, and
- inhibit reuse for open space, economic development or other beneficial uses.
The Brownfields Team identified mine-impacted brownfields on both private and public lands, and prioritized sites collectively and consistently for public benefit.
Yet not all of the mine sites identified are eligible for remediation as brownfields. Ineligible sites include those:
- listed or proposed for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL);
- subject to court orders or decrees under CERCLA; and
- under control of the US government (except land held in trust for an Indian Tribe – mine sites on Tribal lands are eligible brownfields)
The Brownfields Project assessed mine-affected brownfields in:
Cache Creek watershed (Lake and Yolo counties)
Leveraged research from 2003 – 2011 of site conditions, pollutant loadings, and/or needed remediation actions. Studies conducted Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Bureau of Land Management, US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US EPA.
Putah Creek watershed (Lake and Napa counties)
Leveraged Brownfields Team experience from past projects. Particularly, an update to the site inventory and monitoring database for the Bureau of Land Management and US Geological Survey.
Conducted screening-level assessment of previously unstudied abandoned mines located in close proximity to San Pablo Bay, Napa River, urban areas, open space trails and roads.
Phase I assessments were conducted for identified sites on public and private property. Sites on private property will not be assessed beyond Phase I unless a formal agreement is made to ensure public benefits (such as easement or land transfer). The project team assisted interested property owners in drafting public benefit agreements.
Phase II assessments were conducted for eligible sites. The project team also developed up to two Site Cleanup Plans. Cleanup Plan(s) including:
- Summary of the Phase II findings
- Identified alternatives (based on demonstrated ability to meet cleanup standards and to comply with applicable laws and regulations),
- Comparison of alternatives (e.g., effectiveness, feasibility, cost and climate change impacts).
This Project aligns with the region’s IRWMP priorities
The project addresses brownfields in the regional planning context by focusing on land use and watershed health. Regional focal points – as identified in the IRWM Plan – include:
- Safeguarding water resources for multiple uses;
- Improving habitat and ecosystem health;
- Managing public health risks;
- Understanding watershed functions collectively;
- Creating recreation space/corridors; and
- Implementing plans for additional sampling, cleanup, and redevelopment.
Our final product – an Area-wide Brownfields Plan – is a valuable tool for future planning and implementation projects
The area-wide brownfields plan leverages data gathered through this project with information from other county-level plans to form a comprehensive guide. The area-wide plan:
- Describes the area’s history with brownfields;
- Identifies key land use policies, planning initiatives, pertinent developments, and potential market considerations;
- Lists all brownfields identified and assessed for this project and proposed redevelopment opportunities; and
- Recommends funding and implementation activities for next steps.
This map shows two important planning areas that overlap the Westside area and its participating counties: