Plainfield, New Jersey

Site inventories allow officials to identify and prioritize brownfields in their communities, thereby establishing a basis for future site investigation and remediation. The development of inventories includes the review of variety of historic records, depending on what resources are available. Inventories can also cover a variety of geographic areas, from the smallest neighborhood to a specific region. The information can ultimately be presented in a variety of manners, such as spreadsheets, databases, and Geographic Information Systems-based maps. The sites included in petroleum inventories can range from former gas stations to small properties that formerly included underground storage tanks.

In 2008, BRS developed a petroleum site inventory for the City of Plainfield, New Jersey, which was funded by a US Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grant. This resulted in an inventory of more than 180 properties. Specific activities performed by BRS included:

  • Extensive analysis of historic city business directories and telephone books;
  • The review of historic Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, which provide detailed descriptions of properties from the late 1800s through 1970;
  • Review of state and federal hazardous site databases;
  • Research of historic and current tax maps to discern exact property location; and
  • Development of a spreadsheet database that allows users to sort information as needed.