Development of Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects always entails a basic level of environmental review. In some cases, the environmental review and remediation process can be complicated by the presence of toxic substances. The rehabilitation of a historic building could require removal of lead paint or asbestos; creation of a new park on a former industrial site could necessitate removal of contaminated soils; and construction of a trail on an abandoned rail corridor could involve cleanup of toxic metals, chemicals and other contaminants.
In this Winter 2004 issue of Connections (Vol. 8, No. 1), the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse presents a modified excerpt of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 2004 report, Understanding Environmental Contaminants: Lessons Learned and Guidance to Keep your Rail-Trail Project on Track, to educate planners and trail managers about the environmental cleanup process. Though the report focuses on rail-trails, it offers information and tips that are applicable to other types of TE projects.