Quick Takeaways

  • Land clean-up has many societal benefits, including the improvement of health, well-being, safety, aesthetic, and property value.
  • The United States Environmental Protective Agency regulates the categorization and cleanup of hazardous waste in partnership with local government agencies.
  • Monitoring hazardous waste and encouraging the cleanup of Brownfields and other areas is also a step towards environmental health.

Source: Economics of Land Cleanup and Waste Management (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

Hazardous waste is found in many forms, ranging from pollution to medical waste to radioactive waste. This waste is harmful to humans and creates many challenges when trying to real estate development. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has many laws and programs in place to keep homeowners safe and improve land use.

The health and safety of land plays a huge role in not only property value, but whether or not said land can be inhabited at all. There are many things that can be done to rehabilitate these sites, but even living near one can affect property value and/or the ability to sell your home because of perceived risk.

Brownfields are a category of often vacant property that have been designated as potentially harmful, and will most likely require extra work and money to become habitable and safe. These sites were often industrial in nature and became contaminated with chemicals used in production and mining. The United States currently has over 450,000 Brownfield sites.

See References for more information.

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