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Brownfields

NEOEDD provided Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments for qualifying public and privately-owned brownfield properties in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. A grant provided by the Environmental Protection Agency allowed us to provide this service.

What is a Brownfield?
A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the potential or actual presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

What is a Phase I environmental site assessment?
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a report prepared for a real property that identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. The assessment typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property and involves extensive research of the history of usage of the site. Actual sampling of soil, air, groundwater and/or building materials is typically not conducted during a Phase I ESA. The Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. If the Phase I ESA finds that a site is likely to be contaminated, a Phase II ESA may be conducted.

What is a Phase II environmental site assessment?
A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is an “intrusive” investigation which collects original samples of soil, groundwater or building materials to analyze for quantitative values of various contaminants. The investigation is normally undertaken when a Phase I ESA determines a likelihood of site contamination. The most frequent substances tested for are petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, asbestos and mold.

Why would I want an assessment?
For potential property buyers, a Phase I or Phase II ESA could help you decide whether or not to invest in a property and return it to a productive use. There are risks associated with owning contaminated sites. You should determine what risks are present before purchasing property and learn about options to help protect you from liability. 
For property owners interested in selling or redeveloping their property, a Phase I can determine whether or not contamination is likely. A Phase II will reveal the extent of contamination and what further actions may be required to make the site useable. Both Phase I and Phase II ESAs will help potential buyers by providing information needed to reduce their risk.

For a graphic depiction of project decision-making points, check out the Brownfields Flow Chart.

Where were assessments conducted?

  • La Grande/Union County Airport Phase II Assessment, Union County
  • Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center Phase II Assessment, Wallowa
  • Woody Wolfe Ranch, Wallowa County
  • Union Bus Barn, Union
  • Ostwald Machine Shop, Baker City
  • Lime Cement Plant, Baker County
  • Eastern Oregon Fire Museum, La Grande
  • Brickyard Lanes, La Grande
  • Pioneer West Bank, Baker City
  • Joseph Branch Rail-with-Trail

An Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives was completed for the Ostwald Machine Shop, which was transferred to the 5J Baker School District.