1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Emery Graham <egraham@dca.net>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 09:02:09 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Brownfield to NPL - Need for Caution

Has anyone considered the process of implementing the brownfield
assessment process; the searching of the historical record, deed and
title searches, reviewing old maps. The primary outcome from this
process is the discovery of likely candidates for more indepth
assessment and site testing for the presence of hazardous materials that

the historical research suggested might exist. Another, in action,
process that leads to using brownfield assessment funds is the site
development process that accompanies economic and housing development
projects. In this case investors call for "due diligence" actions
inorder to reduce their potential liabilities and protect their
investments. In both of these instances the newly participating
municipality usually not taken the structural and legal precautions
needed to protect the workers and the financial interests of the
taxpayers. In the final analysis if the municipality does something that

triggers a major lawsuit or exposes a major hazardous waste liability,
most likely the reserve accounts will not be able to finance the costs
of a major problem. This typically will be addressed by insurance and/or

capital funds. In any event the "good faith and credit" of the
municipality, which is based on its ability to impose taxes on its
citizens, is the fall back source of financing.

I suspect that some municipalities have addressed this problem already
and I'd like to hear from anyone who can speak from experience. I hope
no municipality is taken by surprise in these matters.


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