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Brownfields to Green: A Proposal for Redevelopment of Brownfields Property for Natural Resource Value

October 2016

Citation: 46 ELR 10855

Issue: 10

Author: Tara Disy Allden, David Goldman, Frank L. Hearne, and Bill Spinner

There are many sites in the United States that are blighted or undeveloped because of actual or perceived environmental contamination. Often, these sites are “orphans,” without existing owners having the wherewithal to undertake responsibility for environmental remediation. Federal and state laws developed since the 1980s placed strict responsibility for remediation costs on many types of parties associated with such sites, including subsequent owners with no involvement in the acts that caused the contamination. Consequently, even where such sites would otherwise be attractive for redevelopment, the fear of becoming responsible for expensive and timeconsuming remediation limited the willingness of buyers, investors, lenders, and end-users of such property to become involved. As explained more fully below, recent legislation has provided some mechanisms for incentives to undertake control of certain types of sites and to accomplish cleanup and redevelopment. One such approach consists of “brownfield” programs designed to facilitate remediation of environmental issues and to encourage redevelopment of the properties.

Tara Disy Allden is an Attorney/Environmental Scientist with Kimley-Horn in Columbia, South Carolina. David Goldman is a Professional Geologist with Kimley-Horn in Jacksonville, Florida. Frank Hearne is an attorney with Mechanik Nuccio Hearne & Wester, P.A., in Tampa, Florida. Bill Spinner is a Professional Geologist with Kimley-Horn in Tampa, Florida.

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