|From:||Emery Graham <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Tue, 4 May 1999 11:05:15 -0700 (PDT)|
Brownfield to NPL Site - 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 has 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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