Brownfields are abandoned, idle, or under-utilized industrial and commercial properties where the previous property use caused environmental contamination. The land may need to be cleaned up before it can be redeveloped.

They include old and abandoned refineries, former railway yards, old waterfronts, crumbling warehouses, abandoned gas stations, former drycleaners and other commercial properties where toxic substances may have been used or stored. Left idle and unmanaged, brownfields pose risks to human health and the environment because of the toxic materials left behind.

Brownfields remediation turns abandoned, contaminated lots into useful, safe land. Redeveloping a brownfield eliminates health and safety hazards and leads to improved air, water and soil quality. The environmental benefits include increased land preservation, more brownfields sites cleaned and reused, less urban sprawl and increased preservation of open spaces.