Clear course: the National Brownfield Association assesses state and voluntary cleanup programs and what works best.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
The National Brownfield See greenfield. Association (NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= ) has prepared a paper to assist policymakers and other interested parties in better understanding the key elements in state brownfield and Voluntary Cleanup Programs (VCPs) that will attract all stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. to participate in the cleanup and the redevelopment of brownfields.
NBA Chapter Executive Teams provided input and the NBA Advisory Board drafted this analysis. Both groups consist of diverse redevelopment specialists who are NBA members and have worked extensively with state programs around the country. The members have also participated in NBA Brownfield Leadership Summits, which are held annually to address this issue.
STATE STARTING POINTS Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo
commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the
States began creating brownfield and voluntary cleanup programs in the late 1980s in response to the complexities of the Superfund process and the realization that public funding Public funding is money given from tax revenue or other governmental sources to an individual, organization, or entity. See also
The state and the voluntary party agree to the cleanup approach needed to achieve state-specified levels that are "protective of human health and the environment." In the mid-1990s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency "EPA" redirects here. For other uses see EPA (disambiguation) and Environmental Protection Agency.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ) formally recognized the benefits of the state brownfield programs and VCPs. All states have since moved to some extent to create similar forms of programs.
The federal brownfields law, enacted in 2002 (formally titled the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfield Revitalization re·vi·tal·ize
tr.v. re·vi·tal·ized, re·vi·tal·iz·ing, re·vi·tal·iz·es
To impart new life or vigor to: plans to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods; tried to revitalize a flagging economy. Act), largely recognizes states as the primary regulator regulator,
n the mechanical part of a gas delivery system that controls gas pressure that allows a manageable flow of drug vapor to escape.
see reducing valve. for brownfield sites. An important element of the Act was the creation of the federal enforcement bar, which ensures that when a site goes through a state program, the state becomes the primary regulator and the federal government cannot use Superfund enforcement authority over that site.
Upon completion of the cleanup process, the voluntary party receives a document (e.g., comfort letter or no further action letter), which provides some degree of environmental closure and clarity of the party's future liability obligation. In most states, the liability protection does not attach to the responsible party who discharged the substance(s) necessitating the cleanup (even if they have done the voluntary cleanup).
States vary greatly in the way in which cleanups are implemented and the amount of state oversight that is provided. Many states take a traditional regulatory approach, while other states have developed alternative programs. For example, Massachusetts was the first state to privatize pri·va·tize
tr.v. pri·va·tized, pri·va·tiz·ing, pri·va·tiz·es
To change (an industry or business, for example) from governmental or public ownership or control to private enterprise: "The strike ... a portion of the state cleanup program through the use of Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs).
Overall, state brownfield programs and VCPs have been effective because they foster public private partnerships to promote redevelopment. The EPA has tallied more than 50,000 properties that have been cleaned up using state brownfield programs and VCPs, ranging from small commercial properties (e.g., gas stations and dry cleaners) to large industrial facilities.
State brownfield programs continue to evolve to meet new challenges, but a number of impediments IMPEDIMENTS, contracts. Legal objections to the making of a contract. Impediments which relate to the person are those of minority, want of reason, coverture, and the like; they are sometimes called disabilities. Vide Incapacity.
2. remain. Buyers and sellers are still concerned that the level of environmental liability relief may not be meaningful, and that lingering lin·ger
v. lin·gered, lin·ger·ing, lin·gers
1. To be slow in leaving, especially out of reluctance; tarry. See Synonyms at stay1.
2. third party liability issues remain. The lack of liability clarity is causing a number of corporate property owners to hold on to sites.
Another barrier is that, although most states consider planned end use when determining cleanup levels, some do not allow the use of site-specific risk assessments. This causes owners and prospective purchasers to perceive some state cleanup standards as too stringent or inflexible.
These impediments create a situation where cleanups may be technically feasible but not economically viable for redevelopment, and result in developers and investors favoring construction on greenfields. Moreover, state programs are beginning to suffer from the success of the brownfield market; the increased number of sites seeking to enter VCPs and brownfield programs has put considerable pressure on these programs, which causes slower response times, competition for financial incentives and increases the administrative cost administrative cost Managed care A cost incurred by the 'business' end of a health care facility or university–eg, staffing and personnel costs, nursing home and hospital administration, insurance, and overhead expenses. Cf Indirect costs. of operating programs.
In an effort to address these impediments, states have been innovative in developing unique program elements that work. Although no one "best" program exists that addresses all barriers, the National Brownfield Association has analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. and identified the key elements that have worked well in different programs. The purpose of this paper is to assist policymakers in better understanding the key program elements that work.
RECOMMENDED PROGRAM ELEMENTS
The NBA has found key program elements that work can be grouped into four general categories: 1) environmental closure and liability clarity, 2) agency resources, 3) cleanup goals, and 4) financial incentives. Highlights of key program elements that were identified include:
1. Environmental closure and liability clarity
a. Programs should maximize liability relief and limit re-openers. Many state programs have "re-opener" clauses if unknown contamination or factual misrepresentation misrepresentation
In law, any false or misleading expression of fact, usually with the intent to deceive or defraud. It most commonly occurs in insurance and real-estate contracts. False advertising may also constitute misrepresentation. is discovered. However, this has not been tested in the courts and uncertainty to the extent of the environmental liability relief and to whom the clauses apply is still unclear.
b. The process results in a predictable regulatory path to closure that provides for a single point of agency contact and a regulatory process that is easy to follow with defined endpoints.
c. The program is broad-based, with a wide range of sites eligible to participate. Broad-based programs that encompass more redevelopment scenarios and stakeholders generally add consistency and ease the confusion for redevelopment parties.
d. The program provides relief or a legal defense from third-party statutory remediation and tort tort, in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damages. action after sites are properly closed. Uncertainty of possible third party action restrains property transactions, and some states have started to address the issue this provision provides.
2. Agency resources
a. The state provides agency resources and trained staff dedicated to brownfields and VCPs to provide information and support to a wide range of stakeholders.
b. A single point of agency contact will champion the project to completion and coordinate interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies. involvement.
c. The program statutorily or administratively provides for a quick and timely response, within time frames needed for decision-making.
d. Program officials and staff have the capacity to treat the applicant like a "customer" to attract voluntary participation and ensure proper use.
e. The program provides a mechanism that fosters quality information and outreach to the real estate sector, communities, and other brownfield stakeholders.
f. Federal resources given to the state are used to establish, enhance and administer their program. States should continue to seek this support.
3. Cleanup goals to protect human health and the environment
a. Allow a flexible approach to risk assessment that includes tiered cleanup levels based on the planned end use of property. This includes options such as "screening" approaches for simple sites and site-specific risk assessments for complicated sites or those with unusual chemicals of concern. This allows property owners to take advantage of environmentally appropriate, yet cost-effective strategies.
b. Cleanup goals are clear and understandable to all stakeholders to minimize uncertainty and unnecessary conflicts over reuse reuse - Using code developed for one application program in another application. Traditionally achieved using program libraries. Object-oriented programming offers reusability of code via its techniques of inheritance and genericity. approaches.
c. Cost-effective innovative remedial technologies or "presumptive pre·sump·tive
1. Providing a reasonable basis for belief or acceptance.
2. Founded on probability or presumption.
pre·sump remedies" are permitted and encouraged where they will likely lead to protective cleanups with redevelopment cost-saving.
d. Institutional and/or land use controls can be tracked and enforced to protect human health and the environment.
4. Financial incentives to meet brownfield needs
a. Assistance with site assessments can provide financing not available elsewhere to help site owners and prospective purchasers get critically needed information that allows property redevelopment costs to be sufficiently quantified.
b. Help with hard cleanup costs, an activity critical to site redevelopment, is not generally bankable bank·a·ble
1. Acceptable to or at a bank: bankable funds.
2. Guaranteed to bring profit: a bankable movie star. .
c. Incentives that finance demolition of structures, lead-based paint remediation and/or asbestos abatement Noun 1. asbestos abatement - the removal of asbestos from a public building
abatement of a nuisance, nuisance abatement - (law) the removal or termination or destruction of something that has been found to be a nuisance , as well as offset other site preparation costs (planning, infrastructure, etc.) may be needed to balance brownfield and greenfield Greenfield, town (1990 pop. 18,666), seat of Franklin co., NW Mass., at the confluence of the Deerfield and Green rivers, near their junction with the Connecticut; settled 1686, set off from Deerfield and inc. 1753. redevelopment costs.
d. Creative forms of tax incentives that attract private investment, one of the typical economic development functions of government, can help channel private interest into site cleanup and redevelopment in areas that might not otherwise be economically competitive.
This analysis was prepared by the National Brownfield Association, www.brownfieldassociation.org.