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EPA Selects Arlington Blending and Packaging Site in Arlington, Tenn., as Reuse Demonstration Project

Release Date: 11/16/2004
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov
Returning these sites to beneficial use will allow the Arlington community to reclaim the area and remove the stigma sometimes associated with Superfund sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the Arlington Blending & Packaging Superfund site in Arlington, Tennessee has been selected to play a key role in a new land reuse effort.  It is one of 12 sites nationwide chosen as demonstration projects for the Agency’s new Return to Use (RTU) initiative.  RTU is an effort to help communities return formerly contaminated land to productive use by removing unnecessary barriers to reuse while maintaining stringent protection of human health and the environment.  EPA and local stakeholders are working together as partners to remove these barriers.

In an important step toward making the Arlington site available for reuse, EPA issued an environmental status report—called a Ready for Reuse (RfR) Determination—that describes conditions at the site in clear, non-technical language, and specifies that the land is ready for recreational uses.  The RfR Determination for the Arlington Blending & Packaging site is the first one issued in the southeastern U.S.  EPA issues RfR Determinations to help the real estate marketplace, local governments, and local residents understand how a site can be reused for specific purposes while remaining protective of people and the environment.  Often, RfR Determinations are helpful in removing the doubts that local communities, developers, or site owners may have about reusing formerly contaminated land, and can give stakeholders confidence to move ahead with reuse.

Under the Initiative, EPA is providing expert assistance to the Town as it develops a plan to transform the vacant 2.3-acre property, previously contaminated by spills and leaks from a former pesticide formulation and packaging facility, into a much-needed neighborhood park.  The park may include a playground and field space and will be accessible to all residents of surrounding communities.  EPA oversight during the park-planning process will ensure that any construction activities, such as the installation of playground equipment, will not harm the site’s remedy in any way. 

Demonstration projects, like Arlington Blending & Packaging, are crucial components in EPA’s Return to Use initiative.  Returning these sites to beneficial use not only allows communities to reclaim lost landscapes, it also removes the stigma sometimes associated with fenced and vacant Superfund sites.  This, in turn, can lead to increased property values and a higher tax base.  Most importantly, revitalizing these sites helps protect the remedy from vandalism, trespassing, and recontamination through midnight dumping. 

More information about the Return to Use initiative and a list of the 12 demonstration projects is available at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle