2008 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 14:35:17 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Florida Brownfields law and public health
Environmental Law Institute
For Immediate Release
July 7, 2008

New Law Transforms Legacy of Pollution to One of Public Health

(Washington) Florida governor Charlie Crist signed into law last week a pathbreaking bill that will transform the redevelopment of former toxic waste sites, or "brownfields." Through a package of tax credits, House Bill 527 pushes forward the concept that redevelopment - when properly conceived and implemented - can improve public health and the environment, increase investment, and create long-term improvements in housing, jobs, recreational opportunities, open space, and public facilities. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) lent its expertise in authoring the health care provisions of the bill, which is the first of its kind in the nation.

Brownfields can be former gas stations, junkyards, abandoned and vandalized industrial sites. These properties are often surrounded by low-income housing where children who lack recreational opportunities may be exposed to safety and environmental hazards. The legislation's goal is to encourage healthy communities and sustainable redevelopment that includes access to health care for the surrounding population. The health care tax credit contained in the legislation rewards development that revitalizes communities in ways that include neighborhood health clinics, hospitals, and other health care facilities.

"In my 30-year career as an environmental attorney, I've never seen a more promising development in environmental law, directly connecting business development with public health" said Suzi Ruhl, Director of the Public Health and Law Program for ELI. "All we need now are enterprising investors who want to help leave a legacy of economic redevelopment and accessible healthcare to Florida neighborhoods that need them the most."

ELI, a longtime key player in the campaign for brownfields redevelopment, has been working with the Florida Brownfields Association (FBA) for nearly 10 years. ELI's Brownfields Center has been leveraging the nation's interest in reclaiming contaminated sites to promote community health in order to produce tangible benefits for people living in areas with brownfields. The Florida model promises to lead the way toward the adoption of similar state-level legislation across the nation. In addition to Florida, ELI's integrative approach to the health and environmental concerns facing residents of communities with brownfields is already being applied in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The FBA, non-profit, volunteer service organization is an assembly of environmental specialists and professionals who provide information and redevelopment strategies to communities and the public at large in the interest of cleaning up contaminated properties and revitalizing areas that have been subject to economic decline.


Environmental Law Institute
2000 L St. NW Suite 620
Washington, DC  20036

For the original press release, go to

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