Waterfront Brownfields Getting New Life in the Pacific Northwest

Heads up cities, towns, and developers! Take another look at that old forgotten former industrial site in your region. If it is on the waterfront it may sit at the end of a rainbow.  Many derelict industrial sites are seeing new life with new industry, others are targeted for destination high end mixed-use development, and still others have venture capital repurposing the sites to sell for environmental mitigation credits. 

Many idle industrial sites across the northwestern pacific coastline are being approached with new vision.  Typical for the Northwest US, many of these sites are former forest products mills, export log yards, or pulp and paper mills.

The exciting part of working on any former industrial site is seeing it come back alive with new vision and energy.  This is happening for larger, 100-acre+, deep port sites due the pressure to export energy resources like coal, liquid petroleum, and LNG.  The Jordan Cove Energy Project is reusing a former lumber mill site as a new energy export terminal.

Other smaller post industrial sites are being eyed for mixed use and sustainable redevelopment. Most of these sites are close to, or inside city boundaries and are less attractive for new industrial development. The Willamette Falls Legacy Project seeks to reconnect Oregon City, Oregon with the Willamette River waterfront and the second largest falls in the United States.  Public Private Partnerships are the key to the redevelopment of these projects.

And still others are being developed for environmental credits to offset waterfront Superfund Site cleanup.  The environmental restoration company, Restorecap, has repurposed the former Linnton Mill site near Portland, Oregon to create salmon habitat for valuable environmental restoration credits.

These sites all have some rough edges due to past industrial use. Sometimes it's a little soil and water contamination, sometimes an old landfill, or an asbestos issue in the building infrastructure itself. Other times it is the complexity of permitting the site at the local, state, and federal levels or changing the land-use for the new vision.  Energy & Water helps guide clients through all these issues to set the environmental and permitting foundation that will prepare the site for redevelopment and make visions of the future a reality.