The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced updates to a mapping tool under its RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, designed to help communities, developers and other stakeholders site renewable energy on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.
The EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an interactive Web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential – e.g., solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy – at these sites. Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.
“EPA is not only helping communities across the country clean up contaminated sites, but we are also helping them redevelop those sites for renewable energy production,” says Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA. “EPA’s updated RE-Powering Mapper is a valuable tool for the public to use in transforming hazardous sites into assets that can serve the community for years to come.”
To create the updated mapper, the EPA collaborated with agencies from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The mapper includes 36,400 sites collected from EPA program databases, including Superfund, Brownfields grantees, RCRA Corrective Action and the Landfill Methane Outreach Program, as well as 97,500 sites collected from state programs in the 17 partnering states.
According to the EPA, the mapper offers search options for a number of site attributes, including state, acreage, renewable energy capacity and distance to nearest urban center; site-specific screening reports; and links to EPA or state programs managing the site’s clean-up.