Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) Success Story - Reventure

Developers of a large contaminated industrial site on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina approached the ER3 team in 2006, seeking its help in generating a universal document providing liability relief under the Agency’s cleanup statutes: the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act  (CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Although such a document was not drafted, the EPA ER3 team worked with several offices in EPA Region 4 and the corresponding offices within the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), which resulted in a satisfactory arrangement to develop the site.

The industrial site has a long history of dye and chemical manufacturing which resulted in the contamination of the site grounds. Somewhat unique to this site was that it was both a Superfund site and a RCRA treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facility operating under a permit administered by the state of North Carolina. The regulators agreed to transfer the site from Superfund to solely a RCRA permitted facility with corrective action oversight authority given to the state.

Under this arrangement, the developer is cleaning up the site and supporting its return to productive use as the region’s first eco-industrial energy park. The site’s planned redevelopment will breathe new life into the area by reusing the site’s extensive existing infrastructure – rail and interstate access, a wastewater treatment facility, 500,000 square feet of existing industrial space, utility substations and transmission lines, and a 360-million-gallon containment pond – to create a platform for large-scale renewable energy and alternative fuel projects. Other planned projects at the site include:

  • A 30 +/- megawatt biomass power plant.
  • A 4 +/- megawatt photovoltaic solar field to be developed on a closed 25-acre landfill.
  • Anaerobic digestion facility, including an indoor composting facility.
  • A regional wastewater treatment facility that changes bio-solids into a renewable energy resource.
  • An ethanol mixing and transloading operation.
  • A propane fleet vehicle conversion facility.
  • A biofuels production facility.
  • A 300,000-square-foot business park focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental technology.
  • Office space for community organizations.

By reclaiming, restoring and reinventing this industrial area, ReVenture Park is seeking to become a national model for innovative redevelopment and one of the leading renewable energy projects in the United States. When fully developed, ReVenture Park will generate an estimated $900 million in new investment and create more than 1,000 jobs. The project illustrates how EPA, through its ER3 initiative, and its state, local, and private industry partners can work together to promote and incorporate sustainable development principles which provide economic incentives to developers, protect human health and recognize human equity, advance environmental protection and help communities turn Superfund sites into valued assets.

Learn More: ER3 Success Stories