Pacific Studies Center ( lsiegel@igc.apc.org )
Mon, 12 May 1997 10:15:49 -0700 (PDT)


On Saturday, May 10, about sixty people from throughout the San
Francisco Bay Area gathered at the Brownfields Community Workshop in
San Francisco. Sponsored by the Regional Brownfields Working Group -
led by the Urban Habitat Program - the workshop was designed to
introduce residents of brownfields communities to the key issues
surrounding remediation and revitalization.

The afternoon session was devoted to a Project Development Exercise.
Members of the working group, including staff of the California Center
for Land Recycling, presented a case study, complete with nominal
income and expense, of a possible brownfields residential development.
They showed by a compromise risk management strategy could make an
otherwise unfeasible project possible.

Community participants, however, were reluctant to accept that
compromise. They were clearly uncomfortable with the construction of
housing on property with residual contamination, even with a regulator
approved cap. They wanted to find other sources of funds to make the
case study project viable with "complete" cleanup.

The working group will be writing up a summary of the day's activities,
and U.S. EPA staff videotaped the event. I was struck, but not
surprised, by the difference between this meeting and the advisory
groups of government officials, consultants, and attorneys with which I
meet to discuss the same issues.