Pollution and Wastes

What are Brownfields?

Which states have the most hazardous waste (Superfund) sites?

As of 2010, there were 1,279 hazardous waste sites and 61 proposed sites. There are hazardous waste sites in all of the 50 states except North Dakota. The states with the most hazardous waste sites are:

  • New Jersey: 112
  • Pennsylvania: 95
  • California: 94
  • New York: 86
  • Michigan: 66
  • Florida: 52
  • Texas: 48
  • Washington: 48
  • Illinois: 44
  • Wisconsin: 38

The average cost to clean up a site is $20 million. Over 300 sites have been cleaned up enough to be taken off the National Priorities List.

The Environmental Protection Agency defines Brownfields as abandoned, idled, or underused industrial or commercial sites where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Real estate developers perceive Brownfields as inappropriate sites for redevelopment. There are approximately 450,000 Brownfields in the United States, with the heaviest concentrations being in the Northeast and Midwest.


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