It is very difficult - virtually impossible - to buck
the regional or dare one suggest the global economy. However certainly in the UK
our experience has been that dealing with the contamination does not help a site
return to beneficial use. CERCLA - and our own Part 2A of the Environmental
Protection Act 1990 - are designed to identify and deal with large,
unnacceptable, risks to human health and the environment.
The problems of
'structural change' - are large scale unemployment - of both people and land.
The solution to the derelict sites Larry refers to and which are very similar to
those here in the UK and across other parts of Europe has to be to create
conditions where people are needed, biodiversity protected and business wants to
take advantage of. The presence of contamination is only a minor irritant to
investors, it is other larger issues that dictate investment
Intervention has to be broader than just remediaiton and
because of the changes to our economy since the late 1970s we have had to find
strategies to protect biodiversity and create employment opportunities in order
to maintain the conditions for sustainable communities, Specific examples you
may want to google are Derby's Pride Park, Manchester's Trafford Centre,
Uxbridge's Stockley Park - there are others across Europe too. My own University
is slowly taking over tracts of derelict former industrial land in west
Nottingham (Jubillee Campus) and the vacant and underused former Carlton TV
studios (Kings Meadows campus).
best regards and I hope you all have a
fantastic 4 July holiday!
I have to respectfully disagree with my friend from the other side of the
If the problem with a site is the underlying social-economic conditions,
shouldn't the problem be the focus of the public tools specially designed for
economic development. Brownfield programs are intended to address the sites
where the environmental issues are contributing to the under-utilization or
We have been having quite a debate in NY on the proper scope of the
brownfield program. Upstate NY has lots of under-utilized sites that no amount
of brownfield incentives could fix because it is the regional economy and not
the contamination that is the obstacle for redevelopment. we have the most
generous brownfield program in the country and it has not been enough of an
incentive upstate because it does not change the underlying economic
CERCLA type legislation is not the answer either since we have had lots of
sites cleaned up in NY but the sites remain un-used because the regional economy
does not support an economically-viable reuse.
If a state brownfield program has limited funds, why should it be used to
renovate an obsolete building when there is another redevelopment tool
available. The limited state brownfield funding should be reserved for those
sites where the contamination is the reason the site is not being redeveloped.
Adjunct Professor-New York Law School
55 E.87th Street
New York, NY 10128
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