Division of Spill Prevention and Response


Reuse and Redevelopment

Updated: Jan. 26, 2015

Table of Contents

DEC's Brownfield Bulletin

Brownfields Handbook

What are Brownfields?

DEC’s Brownfield Assessments and Cleanups

EPA Brownfield Funding

Links to More EPA Brownfield Information

Contact Information

Other DEC Brownfield Resources

DEC's Brownfield Bulletin

DEC would like to welcome you to our latest edition of the DEC Brownfield Bulletin discussing brownfield developments and opportunities in our great state.

Brownfield Handbook

The Alaska State & Tribal Response Program Brownfield Handbook was originally developed in 2008 by DEC’s Reuse & Redevelopment (or Brownfield) Program as a resource for our tribal brownfield partners. The handbook covers a variety of topics ranging from the legislation that established federal brownfield funding, to site assessment strategies, to considering community gardens as a brownfield redevelopment option. We continually update the handbook as new Alaskan tribal response programs are established and new topics of interest are identified. We welcome you to download this handbook and hope that you find it useful. Please send us any comments and suggestions you may have to help us improve the quality of this document.

Brownfield Handbook

What are Brownfields?

brown·field n. A piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment.
(Definition according to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.)

Any property potentially contaminated, previously contaminated, or perceived by a community to be contaminated with hazardous substances, including petroleum products, may be eligible for assistance from the State of Alaska or the federal government to support reuse and revitalization efforts. This assistance may include environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training. DEC assists eligible sites in Alaska in applying for different types of EPA brownfield grants. DEC also provides oversight to protect public health in the cleanup and management of brownfield sites.

Nearly a decade ago, EPA initiated a program to clean up brownfields. The program focused primarily on properties in urban blighted areas and was designed to empower states, communities, and others with economic redevelopment interests to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields, as well as to prevent the creation of new brownfields. As the program has developed, rural land and properties are increasingly eligible for assistance, with reuse for fish and wildlife habitat, subsistence, greenspace, or recreational uses. More details are available on EPA's website about the formal definition of a brownfield site for the purposes of determining eligibility for federal funding, and what kinds of sites are included or excluded in the definition.

In 2002, Congress expanded the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and increased funding authority for the federal Brownfields Program.

For more information about brownfields, please read our fact sheet, Frequently Asked Questions About Brownfields.

DEC's Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups

A drill rig takes soil samples at a site in Glennallen, Alaska targeted for reuse as the home for a new fire station. Environmental sampling is one of the many services that applicants are eligible for through the DBAC program. 

The DEC Brownfield Assessment and Cleanup (DBAC) request period is now open for project work beginning in July 2015.  DEC continues to assist Alaskan communities across the state by conducting environmental site assessments and cleanups at qualifying brownfield sites.  In 2014, our work included site assessments, a limited cleanup effort, and characterization/cleanup planning. A DBAC is intended to help reduce the environmental uncertainties or conditions that hinder the reuse or redevelopment of a brownfield. For more information on specific projects throughout Alaska, see DEC Brownfield projects in Alaska.

The objectives of a DBAC are to:

  • Help clarify whether an environmental problem is limiting a site’s use or intended reuse or redevelopment;

  • Help identify the nature and extent of contamination;

  • Provide recommendations and estimate costs for additional assessment, if needed;

  • Propose typical cleanup options and provide a general estimate of cleanup costs, if indicated; and

  • When funding permits, conduct cleanup activities designed to enable reuse of a site.

In selecting projects, we look for solid reuse or redevelopment plans and strong community support and commitment. This year’s DBAC request period will close at 5:00pm AST on January 30, 2015. To apply for funding download the current DBAC Request Form (MS Word), complete it, and send via email or fax to our office.

Contact Amy Dieffenbacher at (907) 465-5368 for assistance or additional information.

For more information about this program, please see the DEC Brownfield Assessments and Cleanups Fact Sheet (PDF).

EPA Brownfield Funding

DEC Assists with Applications for EPA Brownfields Grants
Some Alaskan brownfields are eligible to receive money or technical assistance through EPA's Brownfields Program. DEC assists eligible entities in Alaska to apply for EPA brownfields grants, some of which are described below:

See the fact sheet EPA 2014 Brownfield Program Assistance to the State of Alaska, November 2014

Assessment Grants provide funding for environmental assessments of brownfields and community outreach (limited to $200,000 per site with no match requirement).

Cleanup Grants provide direct funding for cleanup activities at certain properties with planned greenspace, recreational, or other nonprofit uses (limited to $200,000 per site with a 20-percent match requirement).

Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants provide funding to capitalize loans that are used to clean up brownfields ($1 million per applicant, coalitions and pooling of requests allowed, 20-percent match; up to 40 percent of RLF may be awarded as grants).
A coalition of Alaska regional development organizations and DEC have an application pending with EPA for an Alaskan RLF program. Click here to read more.

Job Training Grants provide environmental training for residents of brownfields communities (limited to $200,000 per grant).

Targeted Brownfield Assessments are designed to inventory, characterize, and assess brownfield sites using EPA contractors. No cleanup is funded under this program. The Targeted Brownfield Assessment program is open for requests year-round, and features a non-competitive application process for the award of assessment services. It is not a grant. This is one of the most accessible brownfield services for rural Alaska communities.

This program helps states, tribes, and municipalities—especially those without EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants—minimize the uncertainties of contamination often associated with brownfields. Targeted Brownfields Assessments supplement and work with other efforts under EPA's Brownfields Program. Please see these links for more information and eligibility requirements:

State and Tribal Response Program Grants -- This is a national, noncompetitive grant program to establish and enhance state and tribal response programs. DEC has been awarded a State and Tribal Response Grant from EPA, to fund Brownfields-related work in Alaska. To download the guidelines for the current application period, click here.

The deadline for submitting proposals for State and Tribal Response Program grants is January 31, 2015.

In 2012, EPA awarded two new STRP cooperative agreements to Alaska tribes. We look forward to working closely with these new and established programs as they develop their environmental response capacity.  

Current State and Tribal Response Program Grantees in Alaska:

EPA Brownfields Assessment, Cleanup, and Job Training Grantees in Alaska:

EPA Brownfield Funding Information

Note: There are restrictions on the use of federal brownfield funds at sites with existing EPA actions, and sites with only petroleum contamination must be of "relatively low risk," with no viable responsible party.

Links to more EPA Brownfield information

EPA Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment Homepage Region 10's Brownfields Homepage
EPA Brownfield Grants

News and Events

Tools and Technical Information

Partnerships and Outreach

Landowner Liability Issues

EPA Brownfields Contacts

Brownfields Tax Incentives

History of Brownfields Program

Laws and Statutes Brownfields Revitalization Act in 2002
Success Stories EPA Region 10 Brownfield Team: (800) 424-4EPA



Other Sites of Interest


For more information contact:

Amy Dieffenbacher, Environmental Program Specialist
ADEC Contaminated Sites Program
410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 303
Juneau, AK  99811-1800
Telephone: (907) 465-5368
Fax Number: (907) 465-5218
Email Address: amy.dieffenbacher@alaska.gov
Sally Schlichting, Grant Administration
ADEC Contaminated Sites Program
410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 303
Juneau, AK  99811-1800
Telephone: (907) 465-5076
Fax Number: (907) 465-5218
Email Address: sally.schlichting@alaska.gov
Christy Howard, Environmental Program Specialist
ADEC Contaminated Sites Program
410 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK  99811-1800
Telephone: (907) 465-5206
Fax Number: (907) 465-5218
Email Address: christy.howard@alaska.gov