1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Emery Graham <"egraham"@ci.wilmington.de.us>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 11:02:56 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Local Agency Capacity To Handle Brownfield Issues
I'm interested in knowing how many Brownfield Assessement Grant
Recipients, or any other unit of local government working with
brownfields, had the organizational units in place whose mission would
include the tasks and issues related to the various aspects of
successfully dealing with brownfields. As various communities have begun
to work on the brownfields problem the objective operational challenges of
solving development, health, land use, organizational, and financial
issues have emerged. I don't think many communities were aware and
prepared for the many different problems associated with brownfields.

I'd like to know whether the various communities had: 1) a health
department, 2) a licenses and inspections department, 3) an emergency
management unit, 4) an employee health and safety plan, 5) an economic
development unit, 6) a community development unit,7) a law department with
an environmental attorney,8) a public works department that carried out
water and sewer line repairs.

I'd like to know if the communities had laws in place that addressed any
of the following issues: 1) hazardous waste sites, 2) site based nuisnace
ordinances, 3) public health threats, 4) employee health and safety, 5)
job and disadvantaged linkage requirements for developers who received
public subsidies, licenses, or permits.

As brownfields are reclaimed and local residents develop critical
awareness of their compromised situations it seems reasonable to assume
that the municipalities where these brownfield successes are beginning to
occur will make structural and legal adjustments so that they can focus
their sovereign power to effect the variables that determine the outcome
of brownfield activities. It seems that one of the biggest problems with
expecting communities with varying capacities to get their arms around the
complexities of brownfield development is revisiting the policy and
program design assumptions; assessing the performance feedback and
revising the program parameters to better align with the objective
realities of the program environment. I suspect that communities that had
more of the structural and legal components listed above in place prior to
starting down the brownfields road are now enjoying relatively more
success than those that didn't.


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