Do we have Brownfields?
"With certain legal exclusions and additions, the term "Brownfield
site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which
may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous
substance, pollutant or contaminate."
Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869) - "Small Business Liability Relief and
Brownfields Revitalization Act" - January 11,2002.
128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million
grant program to establish and enhance state and tribal response programs.
Generally, these response programs address the assessment, cleanup and
redevelopment of brownfields sites and other sites with actual or perceived
contamination. Section 128(a) grants are awarded and administered by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional offices.
All communities have properties that
are abandoned, underused or have fallen into conditions of blight. When
considering Brownfields, too often only industrial "war zones" or
inner city neighborhoods in the big cities come to mind. Brownfields are
everywhere, however, in both urban and rural areas. They come in all
sizes. The Brownfield property can be the former lumberyard, the corner feed
mill abandoned in the 1950s, or the vacant city lot where the old factory burned
down or a Ma and Pa business was located when "Dad was a Kid".
properties suffer from the perception of environmental problems. Most
have excellent business locations, existing infrastructure and access to
transportation. Due to fear of the "unknown" these buyers, lenders
and developers pass over these properties for less "risky" property
transactions. Merely the fear of environmental contamination and
regulatory intervention has been enough to hinder or stop redevelopment of
these vital community areas.