Recycling land and buildings

The Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office (ABRO) helps community-oriented developers address environmental obstacles to fulfill property redevelopment goals. We offer no-cost environmental site assessments.

Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office banner

Since 1998, ABRO has partnered with community organizations and local governments to return distressed properties to the community as greenspace, commercial, residential or mixed-use development.

Some of Austin's landmark attractions were once brownfields. If you've gone to a concert at Zilker Park, taken the train from Crestview Station, visited the Central Library, walked around the lake in Mueller neighborhood, eaten at a restaurant in the Seaholm Eco District, or shopped in Plaza Saltillo then you've enjoyed the benefits of brownfields revitalization in Austin.  ABRO helped relieve the environmental barriers these properties had to overcome. Learn more about other local cleanup projects.

What are brownfields?

Any property that is idle, vacant, has concerns about environmental impacts from past uses or is less productive than it could be may be a brownfields site. Brownfields can be anywhere. If you have any questions about whether a property you are buying or redeveloping might qualify, contact ABRO.

Learn about the types of Brownfields assistance offered

Environmental site assessments (ESAs) Phase I and II reports look at the property's history to see if there are any recognized environmental concerns and then collect samples if possible contamination sources.
Building materials investigations Surveys collect and analyze samples from existing buildings to see if they were constructed using regulated materials that need to be removed and handled in a special way. Before 1980, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) were the industry standard to help prevent fires. Paint with high concentrations of lead (lead-based paint or LBP) was commonly used before the 1980s.
Cleanup planning Environmental professionals prepare plans/specifications outlining how to safely remove regulated building materials or clean up contaminated soils/groundwater and dispose of them following the required local, state and/or federal laws and regulations.
Remediation Removing environmental media like soil and groundwater that have unsafe concentrations of hazardous materials or petroleum products, abating or regulated building materials contaminated with asbestos and lead-based paint, and safely disposing of them so the property can be redeveloped. Depending on how complex the cleanup is, this can be quick and easy to complete or take a long time on a very complicated project.

ABRO resources

Our program supports redeveloping properties by providing site assessments and technical assistance to relieve environmental concerns.

Technical guidance

  • Consult with property owners, developers and prospective purchasers on environmental issues.
  • Review of environmental documentation on redevelopment sites.
  • Assist with state or federal regulatory agency programs.

Financial resources

No-cost environmental site assessments (Phase I and II), building material surveys (asbestos, lead-based paint and mold) and cleanup plans for eligible projects in Austin.