On October 14, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a Draft Management Plan for Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. The draft plan is open to public comment through November 30, 2010.
The plan outlines 20 steps that EPA has recently taken or will take over the next two years to promote renewable energy development on contaminated properties. Upcoming steps include new guidance on the siting of such facilities while clean-up is ongoing, the consideration of new tools to address liability concerns related to renewable energy development at contaminated sites, and the incorporation of financial incentives for such redevelopment into existing loan, grant and tax incentive programs.
EPA will also be selecting pilot communities to serve as models for different types of renewable energy development at contaminated facilities. The agency plans to solicit applications for these pilot projects in early 2011.
The draft plan is part of EPA’s ongoing RE-Powering America’s Land initiative, launched two years ago to “identify Brownfields, RCRA, Superfund, landfill and abandoned mine land with wind, solar, biomass and geothermal development potential” and collaborate with public and private stakeholders to encourage such re-development. The initiative has produced maps overlaying EPA-tracked sites in New York with generation and siting potential for wind energy, photovoltaic solar energy, biopower facilities and biorefinery facilities.