Brownfield projects typically are developments with eligible activities to clean up environmental contamination. Ann Arbor is a core community and, in addition to properties defined as a "facility" (i.e., contaminated), property that is "blighted" or "functionally obsolete" may also be eligible to work with the city to develop a Brownfield plan.
Groundwater beneath the city of Ann Arbor is currently contaminated by the probable carcinogen 1,4 dioxane - not to be confused with Dioxin. This chemical was used as an industrial solvent by Pall Life Sciences’ (PLS) predecessor, Gelman Sciences. Between 1976 and 1985, wastewater containing 1,4 dioxane was sprayed on their lawns and stored in unlined lagoons. The chemical seeped through soil and rock layers and into the groundwater and began to spread. Its physical properties allow it to spread rapidly with groundwater. Disposal of this chemical in this way was stopped in 1986.