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(Updated August 2014)

There are both pros and cons to living in an advanced industrial society. One of the ills of modernization is the hazardous waste that is often generated by manufacturing sites, energy facilities, and larger cities in general. Hazardous waste and its associated stigma can have serious ramifications on the value of the subject property, not to mention the values of surrounding properties and neighborhoods. This field guide explores how environmental hazards impact surrounding properties, appraisal issues, and more. (A. Scoulas, Information and Project Specialist)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Impacts on Property Value

Water Contamination and Land Prices in a Mountainous Landscape, (SSRN Working Paper Series, May 2014).

Local Sustainability Policies and Programs As Economic Development: Is the New Economic Development Sustainable Development?, (Cityscape, 2013). E

Valuing the benefits of superfund site remediation: Three approaches to measuring localized externalities, (NBER Working Paper Series, Jan. 2011).

Shale Gas Development and the Costs of Groundwater Contamination Risk, (SSRN Working Paper Series, Mar. 2013).

A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Environmental Contamination on Non-Residential Real Estate Values, (Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 29, Iss. 4/5, 2011. E

The Impact of Hazardous Waste on Property Values: The Effect of Lead Pollution, (Urbani izziv, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2010).

Contaminated Waterways and Property Valuation, (The Appraisal Journal, Fall 2008). E

Appraisal Te​chniques & Other Issues

Debundling Property Rights for Contaminated Properties: Valuing the Opportunity Cost of the Right to Sell, Using Cumulative Options, (International Real Estate Review, 2012).

Contaminated Waterways and Property Valuation, (The Appraisal Journal, Fall 2008). E

A Beginning Best Practice Brownfield Valuation Model, (The Appraisal Journal, Jan. 2002). E

Real Property Valuation Issues in Environmental Class Actions, (The Appraisal Journal, Spring 2010). E

Brownfields: The ​Basics & Appraisal Techniques

Navigating Regulations and Risks of Brownfield Redevelopment, (Pollution Engineering, Jul. 2014). E

How Much Cleaning Up Brownfields Is Really Worth, (CityLab, Jul. 29, 2014).

The Value of Brownfield Remediation, (NBER Working Paper Series, July 2014).

The Effect of Voluntary Brownfields Programs on Nearby Property Values: Evidence from Illinois, (SSRN Working Paper Series, Aug. 2012).

Solutions to the Five Key Brownfield Valuation Problems, (Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 26, Iss. 1, 2008). E

A Beginning Best Practice Brownfield Valuation Model, (The Appraisal Journal, Jan. 2002). E

Brownfields​ Projects

Ohio River Brownfields Projects, (Ohio River Trail Council, 2014).

Superfund Me: A Study of Resistance to Gentrification in New York City, (Urban Studies, Aug. 2013).

Turning Brownfields into Parks, (Planning, Vol. 77, Iss. 10, Dec. 2011). E

A New Era of Development: Rock Hill's Brownfield Renovation Project, (Government Finance Review, Oct. 2010). E

The Healthy Makeover, (Public Management, June 2010). E

Useful Websites

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, (ATSDR).

EPA's Brownfields Website, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

EPA's Superfund Website, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

My Environment, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

NAR Talking Points: How to Talk About Environmental Issues, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Smart Growth: A Toolkit for REALTORS®, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Books, eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Pollution and Property (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Environmental hazards and residential property values: evidence from a major pipeline event, (Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University, 2006). NAC 1565 H19

Greenfields, brownfields and housing development, (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 2002). NAC 852 A1

Valuing Contaminated Properties: An Appraisal Institute Anthology, (Chicago, IL: Appraisal Institute, 2002). HD1389.5.U6 V36 2002

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Dealing with Stigmatized Properties

Field Guide to Lead-Based Paint

Field Guide to Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.