There are multiple elements of inherent value in environmentally impacted properties. These elements can include real estate, business, natural resources and ecological service values. An evaluation to assist in unlocking the trapped value at a contaminated property is described. The overall approach considered the degree of remediation that should be undertaken while considering the greatest benefit to society. The degree of remediation to be undertaken should protect human health and the environment and meet regulatory requirements, but it should also be minimally intrusive.

At the example site this approach resulted in a reduced environmental footprint for the project and the protection of valuable ecological services provided by the property. This approach, however, reduced the real estate and business value of the property. As a result, an analysis of the value of the natural resource and ecological services elements was conducted. This process included a valuation of the potential economic uplift achieved by 1) wetlands mitigation credits under a banking instrument, 2) tax benefits of implementing a conservation easement, and 3) solar energy generation opportunities.

Assessment results show that economic value can be unlocked at contaminated sites by means other than removing contamination from the site to the extent practical. This approach also resulted in a more sustainable solution and the conservation of dwindling natural resources and habitats.

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