Brownfields 101

Brownfield Sites
The EPA defines a Brownfield site as "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."

Brownfield Contaminants

Sometimes when factories or businesses leave a location, they also leave behind contaminants in pipes, barrels or underground tanks. These contaminants can leak (or leach) into the ground and contaminate the soil, groundwater and surface water. In some cases, Brownfield contaminants can also be found above ground in bulk storage facilities or in above-ground storage tanks.

Dating back more than 160 years, McKinney historic Town Center area has had numerous environmental legacies associated with past industrial and commercial operations (gas stations, agricultural mills, cotton gins, etc.) that used hazardous substances (i.e. solvents, dyes) or petroleum products with their businesses prior to the advent of modern environmental regulations. Through the McKinney Brownfields Program, the city is now able to help properties begin to overcome any perceived and/or real environmental complications by offering site assessments and cleanup planning activities, all at no cost to the property owner.

Brownfields Site Assessments

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment is a preliminary examination of a site to determine the potential for contamination. It includes a review of present and historical land uses and records, as well as a visual inspection of the property for contamination or asbestos. Based on the findings of the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, a Phase II assessment may be needed, which includes the actual collection of samples for chemical analysis.

Assessing Brownfields Redevelopment Benefits

The City of McKinney recognizes that Brownfields redevelopment is essential to the economic vitality of McKinney. Site assessments are the first step in this process. Reinvesting in these properties can increase local tax base, facilitate local job growth, utilize existing infrastructure, take development pressure off of undeveloped open land, improve the environment and protect public health. As such, the McKinney Brownfields Program will not only conduct environmental site assessments, but will also create a comprehensive site cleanup and redevelopment plan for identified contaminated areas.