1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Emery Graham <egraham@dca.net>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 10:55:43 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Brownfields/Hazardous Waste Sites and Fences

Brownfields, Pollution, and Protective Fencing

     One of the biggest problems I've faced in dealing with
brownfields is their identification. I haven't heard of any
     requirement to fence and mark brownfields or hazardous
wastesites. At what point is there gross neglect on the
     part of the responsible bureaucracy. Gross neglect is one
of the components needing to be proved when trying to
     establish an act of negligence.

     This problem is compounded when the hazardous wastesite
is located in an area that is densely populated with
     households. There seems to be some continuing
definitional problems re whether brownfields are also
hazardous wastesites. Maybe this is a localized perception in that
political correctness may not support calling brownfields
     hazardous wastesites. However, think about it; if you do
an assessment on a brownfield and find hazardous
     wastes that need to be removed, did the act of testing
the brownfield change it into a hazardous wastesite? Or
     was the brownfield a hazardous wastesite all the time?

     In any event, municipalities that have received
Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Grant awards are now
     actively engaged in the first phase of emergency
response, remediation, and cleanup activities. The only
     technicality is one of terminology which the OSHA
Specialists in the various EPA offices will inform you of.
     OSHA regulations apply only on "uncontrolled hazardous
wastesites." The designation of a contaminated site as
     an uncontrolled hazardous wastesite must be made by a
Federal, state, local, or other public body inorder for 29
     CFR 1910.120 requirements to apply to municipal
workers(and volunteers) engaged in emergency response,
     remediation, cleanup, or maintenance work on hazardous

     While these issues may seem cumbersome and vague, they
directly affect the liability of a municipality in regard to
     the health and safety of its employees who who work on
hazardous wastesites. In states that have an OSHA
     approved plan, I suspect each municipality has a "HASP"
(Health and Safety Plan) in effect. In states that don't
     have OSHA approved plans, accepting a Brownfields grant
will require some organizational and legislative
     changes in order to address the liability and workplace

     I'd like to hear from folks on this topic. I'd like to
make sure that I've got it right and to find out who else is
     interested and where they're from. I'd also like to know
if they have municipal sponsored citizen participation
     activities that involve brownfields tours. Do the
citizens actually stand on the brownfield? Does the
municipality own any brownfields? Do the municipal employees service
the location in any way?

     All of these questions weren't raised in the Brownfields
application or assurance literature. If they were, I
     completely missed them. Can someone out there speak to
this question.

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