1998 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

Date: 09 Apr 1998 11:16:33
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: A further response to Lenny Siegel & Vernice Miller
I had not intended to trigger a whole stream of messages on the issue of
community involvement, but I think the discussion has been valuable.

1.  Re Lenny's experience on the military sites, I think the point of early
involvement is useful where it can be done practically, but I agree most
of all with the comment on flexibility.

The decision to develop or redevelop a Brownfields site occurs under
different circumstances that can have significant effect on the timing and
opportunities for involvement.  Where, as in the military base closures,
there is a defined process to identify the sites, release them from
government ownership, and there is a clear obligation on the part of the
departing owner to remediate, an early consultative process can occur. 
Given the FPAS and the base closure act, there are opportunities for
involvement, notice, etc.  

On the other hand, where the site is an abandoned manufacturing
facility, perhaps owned by the city or locality as a result of tax liens or
foreclosures, there may not be a process in place.  And as Lenny
pointed out, time and certainty are two factors that developers will look
at in deciding whether a particular site is suitable for development for the
use contemplated.  The availability of other sites, time constraints to make
decisions and other factors can all affect what time is available to create
and implement a consultative process.  

2. Re Vernice's point -- I have not had the opportunity to read the ASTM
standard, but it would be useful if Vernice could post it.  My concern
again is that flexibility must rule.  Brownfields situations really do differ --
how much remediation is required?  Is the site where access controls
and capping make more sense than removal of material?  What time is
required to conduct the remediation?  Can remediation occur during (as
part of) construction of the new facility, or will remediation require
destruction of part of the very facilities that might otherwise make the
site suitable for reuse?  I could go on, but the point is that if community
involvement in a particular form or process is mandated, there will be
fewer successful brownfields projects.  

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