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Brownfields Marketplace Main Page DNREC Portal

Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the Brownfields Marketplace and how will it work for me?

The Brownfields Marketplace is an inventory and a promotional tool for Brownfield sites. DNREC is in the process of identifying known Brownfield properties in the State and creating the inventory to more effectively address Brownfield sites and issues, and provide adequate resources and assistance whenever possible. The Brownfields Marketplace will act as a “listing service” for Brownfield properties. Properties posted on the Brownfields Marketplace web page will be accessible to the public. The purpose is to attract interest and inquiries from prospective purchasers and developers who may want to clean up, acquire and/or redevelop property.

2. How much will this service cost?

The service is free. In order to post a property on the web, we invite property owners to complete a “Consent and Release” form, giving the State permission to post the property at no charge.

3. If I list my property on the Brownfields Marketplace for the general public to view, will I remain in control of what happens to my property?

Listing your site will not change your control of your property. The Brownfields Marketplace is not a regulatory device; it is resource to assist you with the marketing and possible redevelopment of your property. You are not admitting that there is contamination on your property simply by listing it on the Brownfields Marketplace. The State’s definition of a Brownfields recognizes that a Brownfields is simply a certain type of property, usually commercial or industrial, with suspected or actual discharges of contaminants. Therefore, listing your property on the Brownfields Marketplace is not an admission or recognition of contamination.

However, listing may enable a property owner to more positively control his property, as owners often receive inquiries from developers who would like to purchase Brownfields property and may offer to clean up or remediate any contamination, if found.

4. Will I create “environmental liability” by listing a Brownfields property?

Listing the property as a Brownfield does not change the actual condition of the land. Listing on the Brownfields Marketplace does not mean that a site is contaminated. Submitting a site simply means that the property owner believes that the property may fit the State’s definition of a Brownfield. If the State agrees and certifies that it is a Brownfield property, the property may be eligible for Brownfields grant funding for investigation and clean up, as well as tax incentives.

5. Where do I obtain Brownfields funding for investigation and cleanup?

Funding opportunities are provided in accordance with DNREC’s Brownfields Development Program, which was signed into law in 2004. Delaware’s Brownfield Development Program encourages the cleanup and redevelopment of vacant, abandoned or underutilized properties which may be contaminated and welcomes your application for Brownfield certification. A party seeking to develop such a property negotiates with DNREC's Site Invesitgation and Restoration Branch (SIRB) for a Brownfields Development Agreement (BDA) to perform an investigation and, if necessary, a remedial action or remedy, for the purpose of addressing the risks posed by past releases of hazardous substances at these sites. For more information, please visit DNREC’s Brownfields Development Program at: http://www.awm.delaware.gov/SIRB/Pages/Brownfields.aspx.

Potential Brownfields funding opportunities are available for review at:

6. I fear the stigma of owning a Brownfields property.

Most developers are now familiar with the term "Brownfields" and the benefits and incentives associated with these properties. They are aware that according to the definition of a Brownfield, there does not have to be any actual contamination on the property. There only has to be suspected contamination. If there is contamination on the property, sellers are obligated to disclose known environmental problems, and anyone considering purchasing a property will typically perform due diligence to assess whether a property is contaminated.

7. If I list my property on the Brownfields Marketplace, will my property value decrease?

While property values for any real property could conceivably be affected if found to be contaminated, just listing a property as a Brownfields property does not change the actual condition of the land. DNREC has authority to gather information on site conditions. If land is found to be contaminated, values can be affected, however, simple listing as a Brownfields does not decrease property value. A Brownfields developer will know that funding and incentives are available for investigation and cleanup for a contaminated property, providing a “level playing field” for everyone when negotiating a sale.

8. If there is contamination and I list my property on the Brownfields Marketplace, attention will be drawn to my property. I do not wish to be involved with remediation and development of my property, nor do I want to work with State regulators.

Sellers are obligated to disclose known environmental problems in any case and anyone considering purchasing a property will typically perform due diligence to assess whether a property is contaminated. Therefore, if there is contamination, it will ultimately be revealed in any event and brought to the attention of regulatory authorities, even for sites not posted on the Brownfields Marketplace.

Working together with the State on remediation solutions can often be the most cost-effective and efficient way to go. The end goals of State agencies and property owners are often the same. Remediating and redeveloping property quickly and safely, and in keeping with State and federal standards are also common goals. No one wants to have to “redo” work because it was not done properly.

If there is extensive contamination on a property, remediation can be costly, depending on the type and extent of the contamination. State and federal governmental agencies recognize this and have financial funding and financing programs, as well as tax incentives available to assist in the cleanup and remediation of Brownfield properties.

9. May I add to or change my property information on the Brownfields Marketplace?

Yes, if you would like to add or change your property information on the Brownfields Marketplace you can contact the Brownfields Marketplace administrator, Melissa Leckie at 302-395-2600 or e-mail. We can generally update your information in less than three business days.

10. What if I have a question not covered in the FAQ?

If you have other questions or inqueries about the Brownfields program you can contact Melissa Leckie at 302-395-2600 or via e-mail.


Disclaimer: The Delaware Brownfields Marketplace database includes information on possible, potential and known contaminated sites in the State of Delaware. The information contained in this database is provided by property owners and summarized from DNREC's files, and is provided as a service by DNREC. In some cases, additional information is available from DNREC’s Delaware Environmental Navigator (DEN) database. Although DNREC's databases and access systems have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, DNREC makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information found in these databases. Neither DNREC nor any of its employees shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained herein and assumes no responsibility for anyone's use of the information.