Log in
LEED v2009
New Construction
Sustainable Sites
Brownfield Redevelopment

LEED CREDIT

NC-2009 SSc3: Brownfield Redevelopment 1 point

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Credit achievement rate

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

LEEDuser expert

Larry Sims

Studio4, LLC
Principal

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Frank advice from LEED experts

LEED is changing all the time, and every project is unique. Even seasoned professionals can miss a critical detail and lose a credit or even a prerequisite at the last minute. Our expert advice guides our LEEDuser Premium members and saves you valuable time.

Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

OPTION 1
Develop on a site documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.

OR

OPTION 2
Develop on a site defined as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent. For projects where asbestos is found and remediated also earn this credit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part 763, when applicable.
Streamlined path available
Achievement of this credit can be documented via a LEED ND v2009 submittal. For more information check out this article.
SITES-LEED Equivalency
This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.
See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

If the remediation work is not part of the LEED project scope, can I still achieve this credit?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Are there minimum contamination thresholds that need to be met in order for a site to be classified as a brownfield?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Am I eligible to earn the credit if there is ongoing remediation on my project site and remediation is not yet complete?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Is earning one point for this credit an appropriate reward, given the work involved?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Do we have to get testing done even if contamination is obviously present?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise option to read as: "Develop on a site documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following resource:U.S. EPA, Asbestoshttp://www.epa.gov/asbestos/index.htmlThis website provides information on the health effects of asbestos,where it is commonly found, and the laws and regulations governingtesting of sites containing asbestos.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below this section, add the following text as a new section:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFRpart 763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Below this section, add the following text as a new section:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFRpart 763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise sentence to read as: "Develop on a site defined as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S. box.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below the second bullet, add a third bullet with the following text:For projects where asbestos is found, prepare executive summarylevelcontent from the investigation\'s report explaining the extent ofthe contamination and required action as well as documentationindicating an acceptable level of remediation was achieved based onan acceptable standard, such as RCRA or NESHAPs.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace "whose use" with "or the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/12/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Version 2.1 credit rulings state that a project with asbestos contamination remediated according to referenced codes can earn the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit if the asbestos contamination is documented by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. Can a version 2.2 project earn this credit in the same way?

Ruling:

Yes, a LEED-NC v2.2 project can achieve the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit if asbestos contamination is documented by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or the site was defined as a brownfield by a local, state or federal government agency and the asbestos was remediated appropriately. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/24/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our site is an industrial/office park and already has documented petroleum contamination dating back to 1992. Contamination came from a leaking UST. The UST and impacted soil were removed in the 1990s, but a contaminated groundwater plume was also discovered. The plume was contained on site. Since then, monitoring wells and air sparging equipment have been installed to continue the clean-up process. The site is listed as contaminated with the Washington State Department of Ecology, who is tracking the well data, and they have a facility site ID for the project. Our proposed development will involve decommissioning of the existing monitoring wells and air sparging equipment. Approximately six new wells will be constructed on-site, and continued clean-up measures will involve treatments of Chemox (chemical oxidation) and/or enhanced bioremediation measures. The Washington State DOE will continue to monitor data from the new wells on a quarterly basis. Any petroleum-impacted soil encountered during construction will be removed and treated accordingly. We wanted to verify that we qualify for the Brownfield Redevelopment credit for our efforts even though previous remediation measures have occurred on-site, as the site is still considered contaminated by the Washington State DOE, with contaminant levels above Washington State Model Toxics Control Act levels.

Ruling:

The project team is inquiring as to whether a site this is undergoing ongoing remediation qualifies for this credit. Yes, based on the information provided above it appears that the project has met the intent of the credit by developing a contaminated site and performing (ongoing) appropriate remediation. The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination has been documented on the current site by the State of Washington. Please note that credit cannot be awarded through the CIR process. Actual achievement can only be granted during the LEED certification review process.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/16/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

A previous CIR has established that in regards to asbestos, EPA Reg. 40CFR Part 763 (http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/2003pt763.txt) is acceptable for proving contamination of a project site for the purposes of LEED-NC V2.2 credit SS 3. EPA Reg 40 CFR Part 763 requires testing for asbestos content and for the condition of the asbestos-containing material. In our case, tests were performed in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part 763 in regards to the number of samples taken and tested. We did not, however, test to the requirements of the EPA regulation regarding assessment of the condition of the asbestos containing material, since the buildings in question will be demolished and this information is only useful if the asbestos will be encapsulated or maintained in place. The level of testing performed meets all the requirements of the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the local enforcing agency of the EPA regulations as they pertain to the demolition of structures, and so would also meet the intent of the credit in proving the existence of contamination on the site.All of the asbestos containing material will be removed utilizing a certified asbestos abatement contractor prior to the demolition of the existing buildings. Copies of the asbestos surveys including detailed lists of the samples taken and test results for each sample will be maintained. We propose to meet the credit requirements with a summary of the testing report and a narrative of the removal and disposal of the asbestos containing material. Will we be eligible to achieve the credit?

Ruling:

The CIR is inquiring if full testing regarding assessment of the condition of the asbestos containing material, to meet EPA Reg 40CFR part 763, is required when the asbestos will be removed from the site. The narrative further indicates that removal of the asbestos will be conducted by an abatement contractor certified by the local governing agency. The approach presented in this inquiry follows guidance presented in an NCv2.2 CIR Ruling, dated 1/12/2007, and is consistent with the intent and requirements of this credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/10/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting approval of alternate documentation in support of SS Credit 3. Our project, multi-family housing in Bellingham WA, was built on a site containing petroleum-contaminated soil. The geotechnical engineering consultant for the project detected lubricating oil concentrations above Ecology Model Toxics Control Act Method A cleanup levels during their geotechnical engineering study. This study included soil borings in 6 locations, with contamination encountered in 2 of these samples. Based on this analysis and further evaluation during excavation, 860 cubic yards of contaminated soil were removed from the site and brought to an Environmental Services facility in Everett, WA for soil remediation. Clean fill was then imported to the site. A specific Phase II environmental assessment was not conducted based on the recommendation of the environmental consultant. In lieu of conducting the additional soil borings that would be part of the Phase II analysis, it was decided to proceed with excavation and clean-up procedures. During excavation and clean-up, additional soil sampling was conducted to ensure that all contaminated soil had been removed. Below is the recommendation of the environmental services firm, which had been contacted to perform a level II ESA, explaining why the level II assessment would not be necessary in this particular situation: "I have to apprise you that the information generated by a level II ESA should essentially duplicate the sub-surface analysis already performed by Geoengineers. Our Level II approach would be to sink 8 borings to a depth of 18 feet, field screening during the boring and extracting 1 soil sample (WTPHD-ex) from each boring for laboratory analysis. This would generate additional data points to increase the confidence level for plume identification. I would suggest you consider a secondary strategy, which may be more economically viable, to begin the actual excavation of identified PCS with a regimen of soil sampling to verify satisfactory cleanup - this is the likely recommendation of a level II ESA." (Nowicki Environmental, e-mail communication June 27, 2005) We did pursue the alternative documentation method recommended in the CIR ruling of 5/7/2002. We contacted the Region 10 Brownfields Coordinator to request documentation that the site meets the EPA criteria for a brownfield. According to the Coordinator, there is no available EPA documentation of a brownfield. Instead, the EPA provides assessment only in relation to the granting of remediation funding. The Coordinator indicated that the EPA considers it acceptable to self-certify a brownfield, if it meets the national definition. As noted in the LEED reference guide, the EPA definition of a brownfield is as follows: "The term \'brownfield site\' means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollution, or contaminant." (www.epa.gov/brownfields/html-doc/hr2869.htm) Based on this definition, our project site clearly meets the definition of a brownfield. Our submittal to the USGBC in support of this credit would include the following documentation: 1. Geotechnical environmental site assessment report. 2. Geotechnical recommendations for meeting Level II ESA requirements. 3. Geotechnical remedial excavation monitoring and soil sampling report. This documentation shows both that the site was contaminated, that investigations at the level of a Phase II EAS were conducted, and that appropriate remediation measures were conducted to clean up the contamination.

Ruling:

The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination was identified during the geotechnical environmental site assessment. The geotechnical assessment as performed essentially meets the objectives of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, and appropriate remediation was completed to meet the credit requirements. Ongoing monitoring of the site for the identified contaminant is also recommended (but not required for LEED certification) to ensure that contamination problems do not return.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/10/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The site is 1.7 acres in a dense urban area that formerly housed an automobile dealership. As such it was determined to be petroleum impacted, which was identified during a Limited Site Characterization Study (SCS) which conforms to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality\'s Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Regulations. LEED Reference Guide 2.2 states that a brownfield is "documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local Voluntary Cleanup Program." The PST regulations are not as stringent as the ASTM Site assessment however; the SCS satisfies most of the Phase II requirements. We have test results indicating contamination is present, and we will be conducting cleanup to address the contamination. Are the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality\'s Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Regulations along with the voluntary clean-up and assumed liability as required in the DEQ\'s PST "Step in Shoes" program sufficient to meet the intentions of the brownfield credit?

Ruling:

Yes, based on the information provided above it appears that the project has met the intent of the credit. The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination was identified during the Limited Site Characterization Study. The SCS performed meets the objective of documenting the site as contaminated by means of a local Voluntary Cleanup Program. Appropriate remediation must be completed to meet the credit requirements. Ongoing monitoring of the site for the identified contaminant is also recommended (but not required for LEED Certification) to ensure that contamination problems do not return. Please see NC v2.0 & 2.1 CIR dated 6/16/2006 which also covers petroleum contaminated soil. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/3/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting an interpretation for qualification of a project that is being constructed on a federally designated brownfield site. The LEED project boundary (Project) is situated near the southeast corner of a larger 101-acre parcel (Site). The entire Site has been designated as a brownfield by the federal government. Specifically, HUD has already awarded a $2 Million grant for remedial and redevelopment activities at the Site pursuant to HUD\'s Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) program. A condition to receiving funds pursuant to HUD\'s BEDI program (which is a very competitive national funding program) is that the Site at which the funds will be utilized qualifies as a brownfield site pursuant to federal law. As defined by EPA (which definition HUD relies upon), "brownfield site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. As stated above, the entire Site, including the Project was designated as a brownfield by an appropriate agency of the federal government. Many of the Site\'s characteristics qualify it as a brownfield. Further, although contamination has not yet been identified on the Project\'s portion of the Site, the "potential presence of a hazardous substance..." on the Project parcel has clearly complicated the redevelopment of the parcel, thus qualifying the Project land as a brownfield Site as well. As part of the legacy of historic on-site and adjacent activities, environmental contamination was identified at the Site, as confirmed in multiple Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), as well as a Phase II ESA. Specifically, several landfills were identified at the Site, consisting of coal ash and construction debris waste. Further, the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), including friable ACMs, were identified in the Site\'s former on-site structures. Other areas of environmental concern were also identified at the Site, including an underground storage tank (UST). The Site owner has already abated all ACMs previously present on the Site; closed the on-site landfills through capping; and will remove the UST as part of future Site redevelopment activities. At the time of acquisition, the Site also lacked proper ingress and egress and limited access from the remaining bordering streets. Traffic studies in connection with the redevelopment of the Site demonstrated a need for road widening of two streets that border the Site and the creation of new ramps from the Site to adjacent roads. The Site also lacked adequate infrastructure to support a successful redevelopment. Sewer, public water, stormwater management controls, electric power, telephone fiber optics, and high speed internet capacity, which are essential infrastructure features for the proposed redevelopment, were either inadequate or did not exist at all at the time of acquisition. In summary, the physical attributes, environmental contamination, and underutilization of the Site qualify it as a brownfield. While the conditions identified above are representative of the overall Site; the Project encompasses a small portion of the larger brownfield Site. Particular to the Project, the Phase II investigation did not specifically identify contamination within the Project. Also, no physical remediation of historic contamination was performed within the Project as part of overall remediation at the Site. However, as described above, the Project still qualifies as a Brownfield because the "potential presence" of hazardous substances at the Project location did directly complicate the parcel\'s redevelopment by complicating the Site owner\'s ability to secure financing for the project. Accordingly, we are requesting clarification that the Project, which along with the overall Site designation as a Brownfield, qualifies for the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit.

Ruling:

Based on the description of the circumstances of this particular project, it appears that the credit requirements have been met in this case. It appears that 1) the site has been designated a Brownfield by a recognized government agency and 2) a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment has been completed indicating that no contamination was found on the portion of the site that is within the LEED property boundary and therefore no remediation of that portion of the site is required. The project team should supply appropriate documentation demonstrating these points. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/25/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is being constructed on land that is contaminated with pesticides from a previous agricultural use. The property is surrounded by developed land within the urban growth boundary. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality prescribed that contaminated soils be left in place and covered with an impervious surface cap. This measure was prescribed to protect occupants from direct exposure to these soils. The property is also in the vicinity of a municipal water distribution well field so the cap is also prescribed to protect water quality. Based on the development requirements stipulated by the DEQ and the action taken by the developer, we feel this qualifies as rehabilitation of a damaged site, meeting the credit intent. Do you agree?

Ruling:

The inquiry is asking if onsite contamination that is encapsulated complies with the intent of the credit. Based on the information provided, the project may meet the intent of the credit if the team can provide: 1. Documentation that the Oregon DEQ has determined that this site is contaminated to a level that must be remediated prior to development. 2. Documentation that multiple remediation strategies have been considered, and that it has been determined that stabilizing and isolating the contaminants in-situ is the most desirable strategy. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can LEED NC 2009 projects earn SSc3 for asbestos remediation?

Ruling:

Yes. The credit submittal must include the following:1. Executive summary-level content from the investigation\'s report, explaining the extend of the contamination and required action2. Documentation indicating an acceptable standard for remediation, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Cleanup and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)3. A narrative describing the site contamination and remediation efforts.Submit these with the forms, as well as a copy of this CIR ruling. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Checklists

Step by step to LEED certification

LEEDuser’s checklists walk you through the key action steps you need to earn a credit, including how to avoid common pitfalls and save money.

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

Credit achievement rate

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

LEEDuser expert

Larry Sims

Studio4, LLC
Principal

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

OPTION 1
Develop on a site documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.

OR

OPTION 2
Develop on a site defined as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent. For projects where asbestos is found and remediated also earn this credit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part 763, when applicable.
Streamlined path available
Achievement of this credit can be documented via a LEED ND v2009 submittal. For more information check out this article.
SITES-LEED Equivalency
This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

Got the gist of SSc3 but not sure how to actually achieve it? LEEDuser gives step-by-step help. Premium members get:

  • Checklists covering all the key action steps you'll need to earn the credit.
  • Hot tips to give you shortcuts and avoid pitfalls.
  • Cost tips to assess what a credit will actually cost, and how to make it affordable.
  • Ideas for going beyond LEED with best practices.
  • All checklists organized by project phase.
  • On-the-fly suggestions of useful items from the Documentation Toolkit and Credit Language.

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

If the remediation work is not part of the LEED project scope, can I still achieve this credit?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Are there minimum contamination thresholds that need to be met in order for a site to be classified as a brownfield?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Am I eligible to earn the credit if there is ongoing remediation on my project site and remediation is not yet complete?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Is earning one point for this credit an appropriate reward, given the work involved?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Do we have to get testing done even if contamination is obviously present?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise option to read as: "Develop on a site documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following resource:U.S. EPA, Asbestoshttp://www.epa.gov/asbestos/index.htmlThis website provides information on the health effects of asbestos,where it is commonly found, and the laws and regulations governingtesting of sites containing asbestos.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below this section, add the following text as a new section:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFRpart 763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Below this section, add the following text as a new section:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFRpart 763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise sentence to read as: "Develop on a site defined as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S. box.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below the second bullet, add a third bullet with the following text:For projects where asbestos is found, prepare executive summarylevelcontent from the investigation\'s report explaining the extent ofthe contamination and required action as well as documentationindicating an acceptable level of remediation was achieved based onan acceptable standard, such as RCRA or NESHAPs.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace "whose use" with "or the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/12/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Version 2.1 credit rulings state that a project with asbestos contamination remediated according to referenced codes can earn the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit if the asbestos contamination is documented by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. Can a version 2.2 project earn this credit in the same way?

Ruling:

Yes, a LEED-NC v2.2 project can achieve the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit if asbestos contamination is documented by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or the site was defined as a brownfield by a local, state or federal government agency and the asbestos was remediated appropriately. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/24/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our site is an industrial/office park and already has documented petroleum contamination dating back to 1992. Contamination came from a leaking UST. The UST and impacted soil were removed in the 1990s, but a contaminated groundwater plume was also discovered. The plume was contained on site. Since then, monitoring wells and air sparging equipment have been installed to continue the clean-up process. The site is listed as contaminated with the Washington State Department of Ecology, who is tracking the well data, and they have a facility site ID for the project. Our proposed development will involve decommissioning of the existing monitoring wells and air sparging equipment. Approximately six new wells will be constructed on-site, and continued clean-up measures will involve treatments of Chemox (chemical oxidation) and/or enhanced bioremediation measures. The Washington State DOE will continue to monitor data from the new wells on a quarterly basis. Any petroleum-impacted soil encountered during construction will be removed and treated accordingly. We wanted to verify that we qualify for the Brownfield Redevelopment credit for our efforts even though previous remediation measures have occurred on-site, as the site is still considered contaminated by the Washington State DOE, with contaminant levels above Washington State Model Toxics Control Act levels.

Ruling:

The project team is inquiring as to whether a site this is undergoing ongoing remediation qualifies for this credit. Yes, based on the information provided above it appears that the project has met the intent of the credit by developing a contaminated site and performing (ongoing) appropriate remediation. The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination has been documented on the current site by the State of Washington. Please note that credit cannot be awarded through the CIR process. Actual achievement can only be granted during the LEED certification review process.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/16/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

A previous CIR has established that in regards to asbestos, EPA Reg. 40CFR Part 763 (http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/2003pt763.txt) is acceptable for proving contamination of a project site for the purposes of LEED-NC V2.2 credit SS 3. EPA Reg 40 CFR Part 763 requires testing for asbestos content and for the condition of the asbestos-containing material. In our case, tests were performed in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part 763 in regards to the number of samples taken and tested. We did not, however, test to the requirements of the EPA regulation regarding assessment of the condition of the asbestos containing material, since the buildings in question will be demolished and this information is only useful if the asbestos will be encapsulated or maintained in place. The level of testing performed meets all the requirements of the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the local enforcing agency of the EPA regulations as they pertain to the demolition of structures, and so would also meet the intent of the credit in proving the existence of contamination on the site.All of the asbestos containing material will be removed utilizing a certified asbestos abatement contractor prior to the demolition of the existing buildings. Copies of the asbestos surveys including detailed lists of the samples taken and test results for each sample will be maintained. We propose to meet the credit requirements with a summary of the testing report and a narrative of the removal and disposal of the asbestos containing material. Will we be eligible to achieve the credit?

Ruling:

The CIR is inquiring if full testing regarding assessment of the condition of the asbestos containing material, to meet EPA Reg 40CFR part 763, is required when the asbestos will be removed from the site. The narrative further indicates that removal of the asbestos will be conducted by an abatement contractor certified by the local governing agency. The approach presented in this inquiry follows guidance presented in an NCv2.2 CIR Ruling, dated 1/12/2007, and is consistent with the intent and requirements of this credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/10/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting approval of alternate documentation in support of SS Credit 3. Our project, multi-family housing in Bellingham WA, was built on a site containing petroleum-contaminated soil. The geotechnical engineering consultant for the project detected lubricating oil concentrations above Ecology Model Toxics Control Act Method A cleanup levels during their geotechnical engineering study. This study included soil borings in 6 locations, with contamination encountered in 2 of these samples. Based on this analysis and further evaluation during excavation, 860 cubic yards of contaminated soil were removed from the site and brought to an Environmental Services facility in Everett, WA for soil remediation. Clean fill was then imported to the site. A specific Phase II environmental assessment was not conducted based on the recommendation of the environmental consultant. In lieu of conducting the additional soil borings that would be part of the Phase II analysis, it was decided to proceed with excavation and clean-up procedures. During excavation and clean-up, additional soil sampling was conducted to ensure that all contaminated soil had been removed. Below is the recommendation of the environmental services firm, which had been contacted to perform a level II ESA, explaining why the level II assessment would not be necessary in this particular situation: "I have to apprise you that the information generated by a level II ESA should essentially duplicate the sub-surface analysis already performed by Geoengineers. Our Level II approach would be to sink 8 borings to a depth of 18 feet, field screening during the boring and extracting 1 soil sample (WTPHD-ex) from each boring for laboratory analysis. This would generate additional data points to increase the confidence level for plume identification. I would suggest you consider a secondary strategy, which may be more economically viable, to begin the actual excavation of identified PCS with a regimen of soil sampling to verify satisfactory cleanup - this is the likely recommendation of a level II ESA." (Nowicki Environmental, e-mail communication June 27, 2005) We did pursue the alternative documentation method recommended in the CIR ruling of 5/7/2002. We contacted the Region 10 Brownfields Coordinator to request documentation that the site meets the EPA criteria for a brownfield. According to the Coordinator, there is no available EPA documentation of a brownfield. Instead, the EPA provides assessment only in relation to the granting of remediation funding. The Coordinator indicated that the EPA considers it acceptable to self-certify a brownfield, if it meets the national definition. As noted in the LEED reference guide, the EPA definition of a brownfield is as follows: "The term \'brownfield site\' means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollution, or contaminant." (www.epa.gov/brownfields/html-doc/hr2869.htm) Based on this definition, our project site clearly meets the definition of a brownfield. Our submittal to the USGBC in support of this credit would include the following documentation: 1. Geotechnical environmental site assessment report. 2. Geotechnical recommendations for meeting Level II ESA requirements. 3. Geotechnical remedial excavation monitoring and soil sampling report. This documentation shows both that the site was contaminated, that investigations at the level of a Phase II EAS were conducted, and that appropriate remediation measures were conducted to clean up the contamination.

Ruling:

The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination was identified during the geotechnical environmental site assessment. The geotechnical assessment as performed essentially meets the objectives of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, and appropriate remediation was completed to meet the credit requirements. Ongoing monitoring of the site for the identified contaminant is also recommended (but not required for LEED certification) to ensure that contamination problems do not return.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/10/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The site is 1.7 acres in a dense urban area that formerly housed an automobile dealership. As such it was determined to be petroleum impacted, which was identified during a Limited Site Characterization Study (SCS) which conforms to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality\'s Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Regulations. LEED Reference Guide 2.2 states that a brownfield is "documented as contaminated by means of an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local Voluntary Cleanup Program." The PST regulations are not as stringent as the ASTM Site assessment however; the SCS satisfies most of the Phase II requirements. We have test results indicating contamination is present, and we will be conducting cleanup to address the contamination. Are the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality\'s Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Regulations along with the voluntary clean-up and assumed liability as required in the DEQ\'s PST "Step in Shoes" program sufficient to meet the intentions of the brownfield credit?

Ruling:

Yes, based on the information provided above it appears that the project has met the intent of the credit. The site meets the definition of a brownfield, as hazardous contamination was identified during the Limited Site Characterization Study. The SCS performed meets the objective of documenting the site as contaminated by means of a local Voluntary Cleanup Program. Appropriate remediation must be completed to meet the credit requirements. Ongoing monitoring of the site for the identified contaminant is also recommended (but not required for LEED Certification) to ensure that contamination problems do not return. Please see NC v2.0 & 2.1 CIR dated 6/16/2006 which also covers petroleum contaminated soil. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/3/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting an interpretation for qualification of a project that is being constructed on a federally designated brownfield site. The LEED project boundary (Project) is situated near the southeast corner of a larger 101-acre parcel (Site). The entire Site has been designated as a brownfield by the federal government. Specifically, HUD has already awarded a $2 Million grant for remedial and redevelopment activities at the Site pursuant to HUD\'s Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) program. A condition to receiving funds pursuant to HUD\'s BEDI program (which is a very competitive national funding program) is that the Site at which the funds will be utilized qualifies as a brownfield site pursuant to federal law. As defined by EPA (which definition HUD relies upon), "brownfield site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. As stated above, the entire Site, including the Project was designated as a brownfield by an appropriate agency of the federal government. Many of the Site\'s characteristics qualify it as a brownfield. Further, although contamination has not yet been identified on the Project\'s portion of the Site, the "potential presence of a hazardous substance..." on the Project parcel has clearly complicated the redevelopment of the parcel, thus qualifying the Project land as a brownfield Site as well. As part of the legacy of historic on-site and adjacent activities, environmental contamination was identified at the Site, as confirmed in multiple Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), as well as a Phase II ESA. Specifically, several landfills were identified at the Site, consisting of coal ash and construction debris waste. Further, the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), including friable ACMs, were identified in the Site\'s former on-site structures. Other areas of environmental concern were also identified at the Site, including an underground storage tank (UST). The Site owner has already abated all ACMs previously present on the Site; closed the on-site landfills through capping; and will remove the UST as part of future Site redevelopment activities. At the time of acquisition, the Site also lacked proper ingress and egress and limited access from the remaining bordering streets. Traffic studies in connection with the redevelopment of the Site demonstrated a need for road widening of two streets that border the Site and the creation of new ramps from the Site to adjacent roads. The Site also lacked adequate infrastructure to support a successful redevelopment. Sewer, public water, stormwater management controls, electric power, telephone fiber optics, and high speed internet capacity, which are essential infrastructure features for the proposed redevelopment, were either inadequate or did not exist at all at the time of acquisition. In summary, the physical attributes, environmental contamination, and underutilization of the Site qualify it as a brownfield. While the conditions identified above are representative of the overall Site; the Project encompasses a small portion of the larger brownfield Site. Particular to the Project, the Phase II investigation did not specifically identify contamination within the Project. Also, no physical remediation of historic contamination was performed within the Project as part of overall remediation at the Site. However, as described above, the Project still qualifies as a Brownfield because the "potential presence" of hazardous substances at the Project location did directly complicate the parcel\'s redevelopment by complicating the Site owner\'s ability to secure financing for the project. Accordingly, we are requesting clarification that the Project, which along with the overall Site designation as a Brownfield, qualifies for the Brownfield Redevelopment Credit.

Ruling:

Based on the description of the circumstances of this particular project, it appears that the credit requirements have been met in this case. It appears that 1) the site has been designated a Brownfield by a recognized government agency and 2) a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment has been completed indicating that no contamination was found on the portion of the site that is within the LEED property boundary and therefore no remediation of that portion of the site is required. The project team should supply appropriate documentation demonstrating these points. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/25/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is being constructed on land that is contaminated with pesticides from a previous agricultural use. The property is surrounded by developed land within the urban growth boundary. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality prescribed that contaminated soils be left in place and covered with an impervious surface cap. This measure was prescribed to protect occupants from direct exposure to these soils. The property is also in the vicinity of a municipal water distribution well field so the cap is also prescribed to protect water quality. Based on the development requirements stipulated by the DEQ and the action taken by the developer, we feel this qualifies as rehabilitation of a damaged site, meeting the credit intent. Do you agree?

Ruling:

The inquiry is asking if onsite contamination that is encapsulated complies with the intent of the credit. Based on the information provided, the project may meet the intent of the credit if the team can provide: 1. Documentation that the Oregon DEQ has determined that this site is contaminated to a level that must be remediated prior to development. 2. Documentation that multiple remediation strategies have been considered, and that it has been determined that stabilizing and isolating the contaminants in-situ is the most desirable strategy. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can LEED NC 2009 projects earn SSc3 for asbestos remediation?

Ruling:

Yes. The credit submittal must include the following:1. Executive summary-level content from the investigation\'s report, explaining the extend of the contamination and required action2. Documentation indicating an acceptable standard for remediation, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Cleanup and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)3. A narrative describing the site contamination and remediation efforts.Submit these with the forms, as well as a copy of this CIR ruling. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Larry Sims

Studio4, LLC
Principal

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about NC-2009 SSc3