The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), defines ‘brownfields’ as properties where redevelopment, expansion and reuse of the property may be complicated by the presence of hazardous materials, pollutants or soil contaminants such as chemical waste from factories, pesticides, petroleum, etc.
These properties have often been abandoned and may have been hazardous waste dumping sites. The EPA estimates there are approximately half a million brownfield properties in the United States. These properties are unusable until they have been properly remediated. Both local and federal governments have realized the importance of the redevelopment of brownfield properties.
The EPA began a revitalization program to restore brownfield properties in 1995. Since that time, many communities have successfully begun restoring properties previously unusable due to soil contamination. According to a recent press release, the EPA has released $9.3 million in additional supplemental funds to help communities who have successfully used allocated EPA funds in redeveloping brownfield sites. The press release names the 24 communities allocated to receive supplemental funding.
The EPA Brownfields Program has produced success in restoring more than 30,000 U.S. properties which include 86,131 acres of land that have been transformed into usable and productive properties. However, brownfield remediation and redevelopment does not come without risks.
If any third-party is injured during the remediation process, a liability lawsuit could arise for bodily injury. Property damage can also occur during site remediation which could diminish the property’s value. Environmental insurance products such as pollution liability help address the risks (bodily injury, diminished property value, loss of income, and other ‘toxic tort’ exposures) environmental contractors face during brownfield remediation projects.
For your environmental contractor clients who handle brownfield remediation projects, C&S Specialty Underwriters offers a comprehensive liability insurance package tailored to fit the unique high hazard exposures they face in performing their jobs. Contact us to discuss policy options for your clients.