Financing brownfield cleanup and redevelopment.
With as many as 600,000 potential sites nationwide, brownfields continue to be an important issue for local governments of all sizes. Brownfields come in all shapes and sizes, including defunct or partially operating manufacturing plants, abandoned gas stations, dying or dead strip shopping and commercial centers, agricultural operations, and even residential areas. They are found in urban, suburban, and rural locations. The cleanup and reuse of these sites has become the subject of considerable government and political attention, with broad interagency and bipartisan support for such initiatives. More and more, the public and private sectors are forming partnerships to realize the economic and environmental benefits of brownfield redevelopment.
The realm of brownfield finance is rapidly evolving. To solve the brownfield financing puzzle, local leaders and agencies need to make imaginative use of the various public and private financing tools, identifying new funding combinations and approaches that make projects work. This article identifies the financing barriers to brownfield reuse, discusses public-sector approaches for facilitating brownfield redevelopment, and summarizes the litany of available brownfield financing resources.
Barriers to Brownfield Reuse
Lack of adequate and affordable financing is the most significant barrier to reusing contaminated sites. Lender liability concerns, investor expectations for return on investment, and the creditworthiness of borrowers must all be addressed within the context of the nature of the contamination, the costs of site preparation, the impact of contamination on collateral value, and marketable reuse of the site. Site remediation and related preparation costs make many sites economically uncompetitive, placing too much pressure on the bottom line--at least initially. Private parties often are not able or willing on their own to invest the resources needed to take a brownfield through its full redevelopment cycle.
Developers often have trouble putting together a complete financing package for brownfields. Specifically, developers have difficulty acquiring the capital to pay for three activities unique to brownfield redevelopment: the site assessment, the site remediation plan, and the actual site cleanup. The purpose of the site assessment is to determine the type and level of contamination by means of both primary (e.g., on-site sampling) and secondary (e.g., maps, historical records, etc.) research by technical experts. The site remediation plan is required for participation in a state voluntary cleanup program, which can streamline the cleanup process and help clarify the liability of prospective purchasers, lenders, property owners, and others with regard to the site.
Other factors make brownfield remediation a financial twilight zone for prospective developers. For starters, they will likely have to pledge a higher rate of return to their investors or lenders to persuade them to take on a project with greater perceived risk. This so-called "brownfield premium" may translate into an extra 10 to 20 percent return on investment, or one or two additional interest points on a loan rate. Project underwriting needs are inherently more extensive and, consequently, more expensive. Before assuming the risks of such a project, many lenders require environmental data collection and analysis, additional testing, and independent corroboration of collateral value. These requirements complicate loan processing and review procedures and increase transaction costs. Some banking analysts have estimated that these transaction costs have tripled since the emergence of the brownfield issue 10 years ago.
Finally, lenders tend to impose a number of conditions on the financing that they provide for contaminated properties. For example, they usually require developers to have at least 25 percent equity in the project to make sure that the borrower has sufficient capital at risk--a seriousness threshold, so to speak. Most banks also adhere to an informal rule of thumb in evaluating the viability of a project--cleanup costs should not exceed 25 percent of the fair market value of the property once it is clean. All of the foregoing considerations make brownfield redevelopment a thorny undertaking for private developers.
The Public Sector: Catalyst for Brownfield Redevelopment
Clearly, many brownfield projects simply do not work without some kind of public-sector involvement--especially at the local level. Hundreds of successful brownfield reuse projects have demonstrated that the public sector must make the first move to get these projects off the ground. Indeed, some form of local, state, or federal financial participation--even at seemingly miniscule levels of just a few thousand dollars--is often needed to jump start a brownfield reuse project and to reduce the risk thereof to a level that the private sector will accept. Public financing initiatives typically employ one or more of the following four strategies:
1. Reducing the lenders risks can make capital more available. Incentives such as loan guarantees or companion loans can ensure a minimum return by limiting the borrowers exposure to unforeseen problems that can affect the value of collateral or the borrower's ability to pay.
2. Reducing the borrower's financing costs can make capital more affordable. To this end, local officials have subsidized interest costs through tax-exempt financing and low-interest loans, and have reduced loan underwriting and documentation costs through loan packaging assistance and technical support.
3. Improving the borrower's financial situation through tax credits, tax abatements, or re-payment grace periods can improve the project's cash flow and make it easier for the project numbers to pencil out. Similarly, training and technical assistance can offset a user's start-up costs and allow available cash to be devoted to meeting brownfield needs.
4. Providing direct financial assistance for site assessment and cleanup in the form of grants and forgivable loans is an increasingly popular strategy among local governments.
Because competition for public monies is increasingly fierce, local officials need to recognize that resources devoted to brownfield reuse represent an investment that often is recoverable from either the sale of the site or from new tax revenues. Public investment in brownfield reuse also can he used to leverage private investment by legitimizing the economic viability of an area. In essence, this is simply putting a brownfield spin on the public sector's classic role in economic development finance--that of catalyst.
Some cities have overcome the financing barriers by simply paying for site assessment, cleanup, and preparation themselves and then delivering a clean, "shovel ready" parcel to a private developer for reuse. The City of Minneapolis, for example, advanced its own goal of commercial development of brownfield sites by assembling and cleaning up what is now known as the Quarry Retail Center and then turning it over to a developer for $1. The site, which now has nearly 100,000 square feet of retail space, has created 1,170 jobs and generates more than $3 million per year in new tax revenues--than justifying the initial public outlay. Trenton, Portland, Chicago, and several other cities have pursued similar strategies.
Other localities have taken similar steps to promote browafield reuse in their communities. Ocanto, Wisconsin, is facilitating practical reuse of a small site common to all cities--an abandoned gas station. Working with the state's voluntary cleanup program, Ocanto has converted the blighted site into a small landscaped parking lot serving main street retail. Another city--Moline, Illinois--has assumed a brownfields brokering role. Recently, Moline coordinated the funding and technical assistance efforts of federal, state, and non-profit development partners to redevelop a mostly abandoned riverfront industrial site into a residential and commercial complex complete with recreational facilities.
The bottom line is that many brownfield projects do not work without some kind of local government involvement. As such, cities or development authorities are uniquely positioned to jump start the reuse process and move it through the critical make-or-break early phases. Creativity in meeting project needs is paramount. Exhibit 1 lists a variety of low- or no-cost initiatives local officials can take to enhance the financing equation and thereby attract private investment. These can be just as effective as writing a check or providing a grant.
Brownfield Financing Resources
More and more communities are devising creative solutions to the brownfield financing conundrum by leveraging a combination of available federal, state, and local resources. Unfortunately, many local officials are unaware of the breadth of these resources. This section is intended to provide a useful summary of federal, state, and local sources of brownfield funding.
The numerous federal programs that can be used for the purpose of brownfield financing are summarized in Exhibit 2. The challenge for local officials is to translate their funding needs into activities that meet the eligibility criteria of these programs, many of which are intended to be used in conjunction with private funding sources. Federal resources for brownfield financing are discussed below.
Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD programs offer the most resources and the most flexibility. The agency awards community development block grants to jurisdictions of all sizes, which can use the funds for any activity that meets one of three broad national objectives: (1) benefit persons of low and moderate income, (2) aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or (3) meet other community development needs of particular urgency. As of 1997, coping with contamination has been defined as an eligible block grant activity. Since then, more than 50 cities have used CDBG resources specifically for this purpose. Cities ranging in size from Chicago to Somerville, Massachusetts, have used CDBG funds to clean up brownfields for reuse. Other cities have used the money to capitalize local revolving loan funds for brownfield purposes. Youngstown, Ohio, is using CDBG funds to pay first-year loan costs incurred by a new manufacturing plant located on a brownfield site.
HUD's Section 108 loan guarantee program is linked to the block grant program. Section 108 was authorized to help cities finance site clearance, property acquisition, infrastructure, rehabilitation, or related activities that are too large for single-year block grant funding. An increasing number of cities are using Section 108 to fund brownfield projects. For example, Denver is using 108 for short-term construction loans on downtown projects, with the developers repaying the notes upon the sale of the properties. Mid-sized cities such as Yonkers, New York, have used Section 108 proceeds to establish brownfield revolving loan funds. And San Luis Obisbo, California, is using $1.5 million of Section 108 funds to build senior housing.
For the last three years, Congress has provided HUD with $25 million for its Brownfield Economic Development Initiative, one of only three programs specifically authorized for brownfield financing. These funds are awarded competitively. Buffalo is using $240,000 in BEDI funds for site preparation and remediation at the Union Ship Canal commercial and office project. Provo, Utah, is using $1 million in BEDI funds to complete environmental site work and demolition at a former steel plant, which will be converted into a multipurpose facility that will include office and retail space, a warehousing and distribution operation, and a minor league baseball stadium. Phillipsburg, New Jersey, is using $500,000 in BEDI funds to acquire 100 acres of the Ingersoll Rand site, which it plans to redevelop as a modern industrial park.
Department of Transportation. Some communities have made creative use of Department of Transportation funds for brownfield purposes. As a growing number of case studies demonstrate, there are three specific ways that transportation projects can be connected to brownfield projects. First, the brownfield site itself may be a transportation facility (typically roads or rail yards) in need of upgrading. Second, transportation system improvements may be needed to make a brownfield site more marketable, usually by expanding access for vehicles, freight, or passengers. And third, the transportation solution may contribute to the environmental solution, particularly where roads, parking lots, and other transportation structures are used as caps to limit exposure to hazardous materials.
Emeryville, California, has connected various sources of transportation funding to its brownfield reuse strategies. The city successfully marketed an old Chevron tank facility to Amtrak for its new Bay Area main station, beating out Oakland and San Francisco. Emeryville is promoting redevelopment of adjoining browafields into office and residential uses, using roadways as contamination caps to facilitate reuse. The city also used federal transportation dollars to construct a pedestrian network linking all of these sites together.
Economic Development Administration. EDA provides grants to communities in support of public works activities. During the past three years, EDA has made brownfield redevelopment one of its funding priorities, spending nearly 20 percent of its project resources on brownfield-related activities. EDA's public works program supports industrial development activities, while its economic adjustment and defense economic adjustment programs capitalize locally run revolving loan funds to enhance business development activities in distressed areas. Uniontown, Pennsylvania, used $923,000 in public works funding to renovate an old factory into a multi-tenant facility. Rome, New York, used $2.5 million in defense adjustment assistance for a business park expansion. These are just two recent examples of brownfield-related EDA projects.
Environmental Protection Agency. Three key EPA programs have helped finance various aspects of brownfield reuse. EPA's assessment pilot program provides $200,000 grants to cities, towns, and other governmental entities to cover site assessment and pre-development costs. To date, EPA has made nearly 400 such pilot awards. Because of its public-sector focus, prospective site owners wishing to use this program need to work closely with their communities.
EPA provides capital to local revolving loan funds for the purpose of financing site cleanup. Revolving loan fund resources must be used at sites that are owned by government agencies or quasi-public entities like industrial development authorities. Still, private parties may tap into these funds as long as they did not contribute to or cause the contamination. The program has not been used much to date, but recent changes make it much more attractive. The agency now provides capitalization grants of up to $1 million to state and local governments--double the former ceiling--and allows a five-year timeframe for obligating the funds. Eligibility requirements have been liberalized so that recipients need only demonstrate that they have an established brownfield program to qualify for funding. The new policies also give state and local governments greater flexibility in how they use their revolving loan fund capital.
A third program has great potential but has been little used to date. Each state has been given capital to operate clean water revolving fund programs, which are used to make low- or no-interest loans of up to 20 years for projects with water quality impacts, including those that deal with petroleum contamination. State revolving funds can be used for the excavation and disposal of underground storage tanks; the capping of wells; the excavation, removal, and disposal of contaminated soil or sediments; well abandonment; and Phase I, II, or III assessments. Subject to broad EPA guidelines, each state determines who may use its revolving fund resources. EPA specifically allows local governments, citizen groups, non-profit organizations, and individuals to participate in these programs.
Brownfield projects with a water component can access these clean water revolving loan funds. To date, however, only a few states--notably New Mexico, New York, and Ohio--have encouraged the use of these funds for brownfield-related projects. Ohio-based Grant Realty Company used one of these loans to remedy contaminated groundwater and soil at a 20-acre industrial site in Cleveland and to prepare it for commercial development.
Tax Incentives. Two federal tax incentives can be used to make brownfield projects more attractive and less risky to developers, lenders, and investors. The first--low-income housing tax credits--capitalizes on the growing interest in reusing brownfield properties for residential purposes. All states receive an allocation of federal low-income housing tax credits that can be used to attract financing for these projects. Milwaukee, Portland, and a growing number of other cities are linking brownfields and housing projects with these tax credits.
Trenton, New Jersey, provides a good example of the use of low-income housing tax credits in brownfield redevelopment. In that city, the Circle F housing project was developed on a contaminated manufacturing site dating back to 1886. Working with a local neighborhood organization, the city subdivided the site and targeted the older front half of the parcel for senior citizen housing. Officials selected an established local non-profit developer to undertake the housing project. The developer fronted the $500,000 for site cleanup and preparation, and applied for and received $8 million in federal low-income housing tax credits through the state. These credits attracted a private lender, which helped finance the project. The lender assumed the role of a limited partner to benefit from the tax credits, which made the rate of return on the investment acceptable. Circle F is now the core of a reviving neighborhood in Trenton.
The brownfield tax expensing incentive is directly targeted at contaminated sites. Developers can deduct environmental cleanup costs for the year in which they are incurred instead of capitalizing them over time. Eligible costs include site assessment and cleanup, operations and maintenance, and state voluntary cleanup program oversight fees. In December 2000, Congress eliminated several restrictions from the original 1997 legislation, making it possible for virtually any owner of a brownfield to take advantage of the incentive. The signature example of the application of this incentive to brownfield redevelopment is Pacific Bell Park in downtown San Francisco. Quick recovery of the considerable cleanup costs at this site had an impact of several million dollars on the project.
States continue to be at the forefront of creative brownfield financing efforts. Almost half of the states have developed programs that have proven effective in overcoming brownfield reuse barriers. The programs, which are summarized in Exhibit 3, fall into four broad categories: tax incentives, targeted financial assistance, direct financial assistance, and other brownfield financing initiatives. Each of these categories is briefly discussed below.
Nearly half the states offer some kind of tax incentives for brownfield projects, most often in the form of either credits or abatements. Most of these incentives are targeted to offset cleanup costs. Tax incentives enhance a project's cash flow by redirecting revenues from state coffers back into the project itself. This, in turn, enhances a project's financial viability in the eyes of potential lenders. Historically, tax initiatives have been used to channel capital investment and to promote economic development. Brownfield redevelopment is a natural evolution of this tool.
Targeted financial assistance programs, which typically involve revolving loan funds or loan guarantees, accomplish several objectives. They help reassure lenders by limiting the risk of potential losses. They also can improve the borrower's cash flow by plugging financing holes or offsetting the up-front costs of site cleanup. During 2001 state legislative sessions, lawmakers focused more on this category of brownfield financing than any other.
Nearly one-third of the states have dedicated resources to directly finance brownfield activities that the private sector avoids, such as site assessment and cleanup. Most often, direct financial assistance comes from bond proceeds or dedicated state revenues.
A handful of states have developed other brownfield financing initiatives that are intended to level the economic playing field between greenfield and brownfield sites by limiting risk or offsetting critical costs. Most of these programs were enacted as a way to leverage private investment while limiting public spending.
The state initiatives described in this article provide a solid foundation upon which local governments can build their own brownfield financing strategies. In general, local governments could better position themselves to support brownfield reuse projects by putting a new twist on existing economic development finance programs. This could involve something as simple as recognizing site assessment and remediation needs as legitimate project development activities within the scope of such programs. The most common forms of local government involvement in brownfield financing are discussed below.
Tax Increment Financing. Tax increment financing uses the anticipated growth in property taxes from a development project to finance public-sector investment therein. Traditionally, TIF has been used for a variety of economic revitalization efforts, usually in economically distressed or abandoned areas. Tax increment financing is the most common form of local support for brownfield reuse, and it can be easily packaged with other funding sources. Jurisdictions of all sizes have successfully used tax increment financing for the purpose of brownfield redevelopment. Tiny Frankfort, Michigan (population 1,500), for example, is working with a county-wide brownfield redevelopment authority to link TIF bond financing to cleanup efforts at an abandoned lumber mill and at decades-old orchards contaminated by pesticides.
Tax Abatements. Abatements are reductions of or forgiveness from tax liabilities. Tax abatements usually take one of two forms: (1) a reduction in rates for a specific period of time, usually 5 or 10 years, or (2) the freezing of property values, usually at a pre-improvement stage. The key advantage of tax abatement programs is that they give local governments a workable, flexible incentive that helps influence private investment decisions-a useful tool for promoting brownfield reuse. However, tax abatements must be carefully designed to target intended beneficiaries without offering unnecessary subsidies, a feat that can be difficult to accomplish. As a result, tax abatement programs have numerous critics.
Some abatement programs feature sliding scales that offer full abatements initially, when business cash needs are the greatest. Several states allow their political subdivisions this option, including Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Ohio, and Texas. Local governments in these states address the issue of remediated brownfield property re-valuation by allowing several years to lapse before the property is fully assessed at the value of its new use. This type of abatement provided the necessary cash flow to allow the owner of the 26-acre Vinson Street site in Dallas to pay for the cleanup himself. He later invested $1.2 million into a new wood pallet recycling operation.
Locally Capitalized, Locally Operated Revolving Loan Funds. Several cities have established local revolving loan funds for brownfield redevelopment, including Rochester and Yonkers, New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore. Initially funded in 1997 with $2.5 million in empowerment zone funds, Baltimore's Brownfield Loan Fund has enjoyed tremendous success thus far. To date, the fund has made $2.4 million in loans to seven different brownfield projects, creating 233 jobs. Already, $475,000 has been repaid and is available for new projects. This amount includes $340,000 from the Lancaster Square mixed-use office and residential project in the city's Fells Point neighborhood, where the loan paid for the cleanup and removal of several underground tanks. The loan was retired using historic tax credit receipts.
General Obligation Bonds. Economic development practitioners can make a strong case for using general obligation bond proceeds to support brownfield cleanup and reuse projects. Brownfield redevelopment, which creates jobs and enhances the local tax base, is an appropriate use of public resources. For the purpose of brownfield redevelopment, cities typically issue general obligation bonds for acquiring land, preparing sites, and making infrastructure improvements. Many cities have used general obligation debt to support some aspect of their brownfield redevelopment strategies. Chicago used bonds to pay for assessment and cleanup at several key industrial park sites. Bridgeport, Connecticut, used bond proceeds to finance a minor league baseball stadium on a contaminated site, using its share of gate and concession receipts to service the debt.
Underused or abandoned industrial facilities remain a national concern. Confronting the environmental and economic issues affecting site reuse requires a deliberate, multi-dimensional approach that does not always conform to the rules and procedures of federal, state, and local economic development or environmental programs. The lack of adequate and affordable financing has emerged as the most significant barrier to brownfield redevelopment. Site assessment and cleanup requires financial resources that many private firms either lack or cannot easily secure. The public sector can act as an important catalyst for brownfield redevelopment by leveraging the programs and resources identified in this article to encourage private investment.
CHARLES BARTSCH supervises brown field financing studies at the Northeast-Midwest Institute in Washington, D.C. He lectures widely on brown field financing, and has published dozens of articles and reports on this issue. He can be reached by phone at 202/544-5200, or at email@example.com
LOW- OR NO-COST LOCAL SUPPORT OF BROWNFIELD FINANCING EFFORTS
* Facilitate site assembly and title clearance
* Connect site owners with state brownfield voluntary cleanup programs and help them negotiate a remediation strategy
* Direct site owners to information on federal and state programs and other incentives
* Offer local tax incentives or access to tax-exempt financing
* Assist site owners in initiating institutional or engineering controls and land covenants, and monitoring these controls over time
* Help prospective site reusers secure private financing by facilitating loan packaging
* Separate the environmental risk from the economic value of the property through mechanisms such as land leases, indemnities, and environmental insurance
FEDERAL PROGRAMS APPLICABLE TO BROWNFIELD FINANCING
* SBA's Small Business Investment Companies
* EDA Title I (public works) and Title IX (economic adjustment)
* EPA assessment pilot grants
* DOT (various system construction and rehabilitation programs)
* DOT's transportation and community system preservation (TCSP) pilot grants
* HUD's Brownfield Economic Development Initiative (BEDI)
* HUD's Community Development Block Grants (for projects locally determined)
* Army Corps of Engineers (cost-shared services)
* EDA's Title IX (capital for local revolving loan funds)
* EPA capitalized brownfield revolving loan funds
* EPA capitalized clean water revolving loan funds (priorities set/programs run by each state)
* HUD funds for locally determined CDBG loans and "floats"
* SBA's microloans
* SBA's Section 504 development company debentures
* HUD's Section 108 loan guarantees
* SBA's Section 7(a) and Low-Doc programs
* HUD/USDA Empowerment Zones (various incentives)
* HUD/USDA Enterprise Communities (various incentives)
Tax Incentives and Tax-Exempt Financing
* Targeted expensing of cleanup costs (through December 31, 2003)
* Historic rehabilitation tax credits
* Low-income housing tax credits
* Industrial development bonds
For a complete description of all these programs and how they can meet specific brownfield needs, click on "brownfields" at nemw.org.
STATE INNOVATIONS IN BROWNFIELD FINANCING
Direct financial assistance: 13 states, including:
* Brownfield/environmental general obligation bond issues in Michigan ($255 million), New York ($200 million), and Ohio ($200 million)
* Low-interest cleanup loans in Delaware, Minnesota, and New Jersey
* Wisconsin's $40 million package of grant and loan programs
Targeted financial assistance: 19 states, including:
* Florida's loan guarantees/loan loss reserves
* Indiana's RLF remediation loans (up to 20 percent forgivable)
* Illinois Redevelopment Loan Program for private parties
* Massachusetts' Reclamation Payback Fund guarantees
* Wisconsin's earmarking of state CDBG funds
Tax incentives: 22 states, including:
* Colorado's sliding-scale remediation tax credit
* Illinois' transferable 25 percent remediation tax credit
* Michigan's 100 percent single business tax abatement
* New Jerseys Environmental Opportunity Zone property tax abatement/rebate
* Ohio's 10 percent/$500,000 assessment and cleanup cost tax credit
* Minnesota's hazardous waste sub-district TIFs
Other brownfield financing initiatives: 10 states, including:
* Michigan's "brownfield redevelopment authorities"
* Wisconsin's Brownfield Environmental Assessment Program and back-tax forgiveness
* Pennsylvania's Key Sites Initiative, which provides funding for contractors to do site assessments and prepare cleanup plans
* Massachusetts' Access to Capital Program, which includes $15 million to cover environmental insurance premiums on state-negotiated policies with AIG insurance company
RELATED ARTICLE: DEFINING BROWNFIELDS
The Environmental Protection Agency defines brownfields as abandoned, idled, or underused facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. A brownfield site typically has active redevelopment potential for commercial, residential, or recreational uses.
H.R. 2869: SMALL BUSINESS LIABILITY RELIEF AND BROWNFIELDS REVITALIZATION ACT
On December 20, 2001, Congress approved a brownfields bill that will strengthen local efforts to facilitate the redevelopment of contaminated sites by providing more regulatory finality and project resources. The bill, highlights of which are summarized below, was passed more than eight years after Congress first considered brownfield proposals.
Title I: Brownfield Revitalization Funding
* Provides for $200 million per year (through 2006) in grants to states, local and tribal governments, and quasi-public redevelopment agencies and authorities.
* Funding is to be used for (1) site assessment grants of up to $200,000 (EPA has discretion to increase this amount to $350,000 under some circumstances) and (2) cleanup grants of up to $200,000 for direct remediation (up to $1 million for revolving loan fund capital).
* Funding criteria include the extent to which the money will be used to protect human health and the environment; spur redevelopment and create jobs; and preserve open space and parks. Projects also should be distributed fairly between urban and rural areas and involve the local communities.
* $50 million (or 25 percent of appropriation if less than $200 million) may be used for sites with petroleum contamination.
* Insurance premiums are an eligible use of funds.
* Authorizes EPA to operate a brownfield program that includes training, research, and technical assistance activities.
Title II: Liability Clarifications
H.R. 2869 provides Superfund liability relief to:
* Contiguous property owners who provide cooperation and access for the cleanup.
* Prospective purchasers who are not responsible for contamination at the site and who do not impede its cleanup (the bill includes windfall lien provisions for sites where the government pays for cleanup, thus enhancing the fair market value of the property).
* Innocent landowners.
Title III: State Response Programs
* Authorizes $50 million per year (through 2006) in grants to states and tribal governments to establish and enhance state VCPs and response programs.
* Requires states to maintain-and to update annually-a "public record of sites" addressed through their programs.
* Establishes "finality"--sites addressed through state programs are protected from EPA enforcement and cost recovery actions under CERCLA, with a few narrow exceptions.