Sustainable Communities Start At SCS
The National Brownfields Training Conference is the largest event in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. The National Brownfields Conference attracts nearly 3,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup, such as SCS Engineers to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and to celebrate the EPA Brownfields program’s success.
Meet the professionals from SCS Engineers during the conference. View Betty Socha’s Infographic on Concurrent Brownfield Redevelopment and Site Remediation. See the abstract below.
Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, was built on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona in the 1800s. Areas adjacent the hills on which the capital, the downtown, and the university were built were marshlands filled in with municipal and industrial wastes in order to accommodate the commercial and industrial development of these low lying areas. Despite major impediments to redevelopment related to the historically contaminated fill soils, shallow groundwater, and the impacts of decades of industrial and commercial uses, the isthmus is a focal point for residential and commercial redevelopment. Whole city blocks are being transformed into multi-story, multi-use buildings, parking facilities, affordable housing units, and entertainment venues. Most of the redevelopments are fast-tracked – evolving from abandoned, vacant land to showcase areas of the city in just a few years. How’s it being done? Remediation, and sometimes aspects of site investigations, is done concurrently with site redevelopment. Typical remediation can include excavation of contaminated soil in conjunction with the excavation of the new building foundation, installation of deep pile systems to minimize soil disposal costs, and installation of vapor barrier and venting systems to mitigate vapor intrusion potential associated with residual soil and groundwater impacts. Property developers are addressing direct contact concerns from residual contaminated soils by capping them with paved parking areas, landscaping, or new buildings. Exemptions for disposal of low-level contaminated soil at sites other than landfills can also be big cost savings to developers. Typically developers offset environmental costs by securing financial assistance from an EPA Brownfield site investigation grant to the City of Madison, tax credits, incremental tax financing, and Brownfield grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
SCS Engineers has supported several isthmus redevelopments, starting with site investigations through an EPA Brownfield grant to the City of Madison, through site construction and remediation, and final case closure with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).