Answers About the Brownfields Marketplace

The DNREC Remediation Section welcomes questions about the Brownfields Marketplace. Below are some questions that have been asked in the past and answers to those questions.

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Remediation Section
391 Lukens Drive
New Castle, Delaware 19720

The Brownfields Marketplace Learn About Brownfields

If you have other questions or inquiries about the Marketplace, or the Brownfields program, please contact the Remediation Section at 302-395-2600.

What is the Brownfields Marketplace and how does it work?

The Brownfields Marketplace is an inventory and a promotional tool for Brownfield sites. DNREC identifies Brownfield properties in the state and works to remediate those sites and provide adequate resources and assistance to property owners.

The Marketplace acts as a public listing service for Brownfield properties. It is designed to attract interest and inquiries from prospective purchasers and developers who may want to clean up, acquire and/or redevelop properties.

The Marketplace contains enough details about each property to improve transparency of the site’s characteristics, decrease perceived risk in the decision-making process and improve the potential for a successful redevelopment match.

What does it cost?

The service is free, but property owners must complete a Consent and Release form giving the state permission to post the property.

Do property owners remain in control of their listed properties?

Listing a site does not change an owner’s control of their property. The Brownfields Marketplace is not a regulatory device; it is a resource to assist with the marketing and possible redevelopment of sites.

Owners are not admitting that there is contamination on a property simply by listing it on the Marketplace.

The state definition of a “Brownfield” recognizes that a Brownfield is simply a certain type of property, usually commercial or industrial, with suspected or actual discharges of contaminants. Therefore, listing a property on the Brownfields Marketplace is not an admission or recognition of contamination.

However, listing may enable a property owner to more positively control their property. Owners often receive inquiries from developers who would like to purchase Brownfields properties and may offer to clean up or remediate any contamination, if found. Listing a property on the Marketplace may help match potential developers with property owners who would like to sell.

Will listing a property create “environmental liability?”

Listing a 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 to the Marketplace simply means the property owner believes the property may fit the state’s definition of a Brownfield. If the state certifies a property as a Brownfield, the property may be eligible for grant funding for investigation and clean up, as well as tax incentives.

What funding is available for Brownfields investigation and cleanup?

Funding opportunities are provided under DNREC’s Brownfields Development Program, which encourages the cleanup and redevelopment of vacant, abandoned or underutilized properties which may be contaminated.

A party seeking to develop such a property negotiates a Brownfields Development Agreement (BDA) with the DNREC Remediation Section to perform an investigation and, if necessary, a remedial action or remedy to address any risks posed by past releases of hazardous substances. For more information, please visit DNREC’s Brownfields Development Program at:

What about 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.

Anyone considering purchasing such a property should perform due diligence to assess whether a property is contaminated. Details from the Brownfields Marketplace can serve as a valuable resource.

Will listing a property on the Brownfields Marketplace reduce its value?

While property values might for any property might be affected if found to be contaminated, listing a property as a Brownfield 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, simply listing it as a Brownfield 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.

What if a land owner doesn’t want to be involved in cleanup or with state regulators?

Some landowners worry that listing a property on the Brownfields Marketplace will draw unwanted attention. They may not wish to be involved with remediation and redevelopment of the property. They may not want to work with state regulators.

Legally, however, sellers are obligated to disclose known environmental problems before a property is sold. Anyone considering purchasing a property will typically perform due diligence to assess whether a property is contaminated.

Therefore, if there is contamination, it ultimately will be revealed and brought to the attention of regulatory authorities. This is true for all properties, even those not posted on the Brownfields Marketplace.

Working with DNREC on remediation solutions is often the most cost-effective and efficient solution. The end goals of DNREC and property owners are often the same — remediating and redeveloping properties quickly and safely in keeping with state and federal standards.

No one wants to have to “redo” work because it was not done properly in the first place.

If there is extensive contamination on a property, remediation can be costly. State and federal agencies recognize this and can provide funding, financing programs and tax incentives to assist in the cleanup and remediation of Brownfield properties.

Can owners change information about properties in the Marketplace?

Yes. Property owners wishing to add to or change property information in the Marketplace should contact the Brownfields program, 302-395-2600.