Guidance for Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields Proposed by EPA

One of EPA’s key goals is to encourage the development of renewable energy projects on contaminated properties, so-called “brownfields”.  To that end, the Agency recently released for public comment “decision trees” jointly developed with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to be used to screen contaminated sites for possible solar and wind power development.  The decision trees map out a three-step process for assessing solar photovoltaic or wind turbine potential for individual and community-scale evaluations.
Also recently issued was a primer by the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) entitled “Cultivating Green Energy on Brownfields: A Nuts and Bolts Primer for Local Governments”.  The primer provides advice on how green energy developers can avoid site cleanup liability, and obtain financial incentives for development of renewable energy on contaminated sites.
If you are interested in potential development of renewable energy projects on brownfield sites, or would like to see a copy of either the EPA or the NALGEP document, contact Steve O’Day ( or Jessica Reece (

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