|From:||Tony Chenhansa <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Thu, 28 Oct 1999 11:20:50 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] "Inner-city cleanups"|
CA Center for Land Recycling Response to "Race, class and the brownfields battle" LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Oct. 4, 1999 San Francisco Examiner http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/10/04/ EDITORIAL41.dtl "Inner-city cleanups" Scott Winokur's column "Race, class and the brownfields battle" (Opinion Page, Sept. 21) mischaracterized our views and the reforms we advocate. We wish to correct this as well as a significant misunderstanding of current law demonstrated in the Sierra Club's response. The California Center for Land Recycling works at ground zero, helping community groups and local governments recycle brownfields in a way that protects public health and provides much-needed economic opportunities. It is a complex task. The case study referred to by Winokur and by Carl Pope of the Sierra Club (letter, Sept. 28) provides an excellent example: a parochial school trying to acquire an abandoned gas station site for a playground. Pope implied that under current law the sole responsibility for cleanup of the property falls to the oil company that actually caused the contamination. Not true, especially if that company has gone out of business. To the amazement of most people, if the school purchased the site, it could be solely legally and financially liable for the cleanup of the existing contamination caused by the oil company. It could be solely liable for injury caused to anyone by the contamination prior to its taking ownership. Clearly, the parochial school could not afford the costs or the risk of ownership. So, no playground, and the property remains an environmental hazard. If you are having a "This can't be true!" reaction, welcome to the unintended consequences of current law - consequences that disproportionately impact disadvantaged communities. Other unintended consequences in the law result in different cleanup levels on comparable sites - again to the detriment of parties with limited resources. Cleanup and productive reuse of most brownfield sites are driven by economic realities of the market place. The reforms we advocate will provide consistent cleanup standards and help make reuse economically feasible. George B. Brewster Executive director California Center for Land Recycling San Francisco ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To read CPEO's archived Brownfields messages visit http://www.cpeo.org/lists/brownfields If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to email@example.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _____________________________________________________________ Got a Favorite Topic to Discuss? Start a List at Topica. http://www.topica.com/t/4
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