Brownfield sites are diamonds in the rough. While they may be unsightly, they often have existing infrastructure and utilities that undeveloped sites lack. There are an estimated 8,000 brownfield sites in the Bluegrass state, and the Kentucky Brownfield Program is working to get those properties back into productive use. While the approximate number of brownfields is known, their locations are not. Below you will find links to resources that can help you identify some of the brownfield sites in Kentucky. There are numerous brownfields that are not included in these lists. In addition, just because a property is included on one of these lists does not mean that it is a brownfield. Many properties on these lists are now clean and home to active businesses.
Department for Environmental Protection lists (available through an open records request)
Kentucky Brownfield Inventory– This list consists primarily of properties that are receiving, or have received, assessments and/or cleanups under federal brownfield funding to states or local government entities.
State Superfund List– This is a list of sites where a release or threatened release of hazardous substances has occurred and the state provided oversight for the investigation and remediation of the sites. This list includes voluntary cleanups. (If a site represented an imminent threat to human heath and the environment and a responsible party could not be found or was unable or unwilling to act, the state may also have taken a direct role in conducting the investigation and remediation at the site.)
These sites are not all brownfields. Some of the reported releases proved to be non-incidents. Some of the sites are transportation accidents, abandoned barrels, pumping stations or are otherwise unsuitable for development. Many of them are active businesses that properly addressed the release and continued in operation.
When a site on the list is listed as closed, that only means that a specific release was addressed. A potential purchaser is advised to conduct All Appropriate Inquiries, also known as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, to get a complete and up-to-date assessment of the property. All Appropriate Inquiries are one of the key steps to establishing Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Liability Protection.
NOTE: The names on the Superfund Site List are for identification purposes only. They should not be taken to represent responsibility or culpability of the businesses or individuals associated with the name.
Open Records Requests
To view or obtain copies of environmental records for a particular property, you may file a Open Records Request. The File Room is also able to provide lists of properties governed under other regulatory programs, such as the Underground Storage Tank Program.
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Secondary Sites List
In addition to its regular lists of buildings and properties, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development maintains a Secondary Sites List. These sites are categorized as secondary sites because they do not meet the cabinet's criteria for primary sites, but are available for business location and expansion projects. In some cases, the designation is due to environmental concerns.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Cleanups in My Community
This website enables the user to map or list areas where pollution is being or has been cleaned up under the EPA's Superfund, RCRA and/or Brownfields cleanup programs. The website offers the user a number of options to specify the geographic search area.
Renewable Energy Interactive Mapping Tool
This website provides a data file that, used in conjunction with Google Earth, maps current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites and identifies their potential for generating various types of renewable energy.