Peirce: Landmark Brownfields Changes

Neal Peirce writes that there is a strong new national commitment to recovering brownfields.
January 28, 2002, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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The biggest breakthrough isn't the increased federal money (now up to $250 million a year) in the bill the president signed Jan. 11. Rather, it's the new, crystal-clear national affirmation that recovering these brownfields are an important part of the country's 21st century agenda. Investors have shunned brownfields, even at prize locations, because of the 1980 federal Superfund act and its state counterparts. Those laws established "joint and several" liability for any corporation or individual or government that's ever owned a tiny piece of a polluted site. Gradually, the states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been limiting the scope of these liability laws. But the new law goes much further. It offers legal protections for such innocent parties as prospective purchasers, landlords and owners of contiguous properties."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 in The Washington Post Writers Group
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