Engineering and Institutional Controls
The recent surge in real estate sales and values has prompted developers and speculators to take a second look at properties with environmental problems. In some cases the problems are mitigated and the properties redeveloped under the umbrella of broad-scoped government programs that offer financial reimbursement for some or all of the cleanup costs (e.g. the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program). Still the majority of these properties are mitigated in case-specific regulatory programs that are ultimately financed by the real estate equity. In both cases, it is often impractical to restore the site to ambient conditions. Rather, cleanup is pursued to a de minimis level that will restore property value and maintain a low-risk to occupants and the environment. This is often achieved by the design and implementation of a remedial program that administratively controls site land-use and physically removes exposure pathways (such as vapor intrusion).