1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: peter strauss <pstrauss@igc.apc.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 16:05:54 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: Question re: Revolving Loan Fund and small business assistance strategies for brownfield reuse
As a follow-up to Peter Meyer's response,  not all voluntary cleanup
programs (VCPs) apply to "Brownfield" sites.  I have seen many
non-brownfield type sites in California where a VCP was entered into. 

Peter Strauss

Peter B. Meyer wrote:
> Responding to several recent queries, let me offer the following:
> 1. On number of brownfields cleaned - one could add up the number
> cleaned unde the various states' voluntary cleanup programs (VCPs), many
> of which report on this activity on line. (It's an economic development
> publicity element to be able to show this!) However, the evidence we've
> seen suggests tht this is (a) the tip of the iceberg in terms of number
> of sites actually cleaned, with many not in the VCPs, (b) the VCPs may,
> themselves, permit reuse with minimal cleanup (since they are economic
> development programs), so you could overcount using their data, (c) a
> given VCP project could involve several different brownfield sites,
> further compounding the statistics. Therefore, I conclude that no good
> answer is available that you could count on.
> 2. On small "mom and pop" brownfield cleanups - this is an incredibly
> important topic, since it is locals, not national/international
> development actors, who will do something for the small scattered
> brownfields in cities- if anyone will. (Most of the sites are probably
> under half an acre in size, given what they were...) But there is little
> support for the small operator, and I have come across horror stories
> about their problems with access to capital. Some of those stories
> appear in the study released by HUD called "The Impact of Environmental
> Hazards and Regulations on Urban Redevelopment," although the full
> report has limited value. EPA's Urban and Economic Development Division
> commissioned The E.P. Systems Group, Inc., to prepare a sourcebook for
> small developers seeking brownfields financing in 1997, still not
> released, that might be useful if they would share a copy (it was
> accessible through the library of <smartgrowth.org> for a while, but I
> think it was pulled pending publication) ... the last title we had on
> the volume was "Financing Small-Scale Urban Redevelopment Projects: A
> Sourcebook for Borrowers Reusing Environmentally Suspect Sites."
> 3. On why the Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) have not
> made loans yet  (a topic that goes beyond the mom-pop developer issue),
> it's a great question I - as a partner in the Louisville RLF - can't
> fully answer. Based on some other work I'm involved in and my experience
> here, I am not convinced it is simply a lack of borrowers or even
> ultimate lender unwillingness to fund post-remediation development or
> business operations ... there are new fears about municipal liability
> that have not been fully addressed yet, and some RLFs may be trying to
> get insurance coverage for their perceived new risks.
> Not really encouraging, but, I hope, informative.
> Peter
> ---
> Peter B. Meyer
> Professor of Economics and Urban Policy
> Director, Center for Environmental Management
>  and EPA Region IV Environmental Finance Center
> University of Louisville
> 426 W. Bloom Street / Louisville, KY 40208
> (502) 852-8032    Fax: (502) 852-4558

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