Title page for ETD etd-05032002-162337


Type of Document Major Paper
Author Hudak, Tracy A.
URN etd-05032002-162337
Title Addressing Barriers to Brownfield Redevelopment: An Analysis of CERCLA and the Voluntary Cleanup Programs of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan
Degree Master of Arts
Department Urban Affairs and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Richardson, Jesse J. Committee Chair
Keuhl, David Committee Member
Zahm, Diane L. Committee Member
Keywords
  • brownfield
  • environmental laws
  • state voluntary cleanup program
  • redevelopment
  • CERCLA
Date of Defense 2002-04-19
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Across America, thousands of old industrial or commercial facilities lay abandoned, idle or under-utilized due to real or perceived environmental contamination. These sites, called brownfields, present an opportunity to repair environmental damage and encourage economic development. In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) to address contaminated sites. This law enables the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force the cleanup of contaminated sites by using the ‘polluter pays’ principle. In some cases, CERCLA’s liability scheme, strict cleanup standards and the law’s tendency to produce long and expensive cleanups, discourage brownfield reuse.

In an effort to remedy the negative consequences of CERCLA, 47 states have enacted Voluntary Cleanup Programs (VCPs). A VCP generically denotes a form of legislation enacted by a state to encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields under the guidance of an authorized state agency. State VCPs utilize liability protection, streamlined cleanup procedures, and financial support to promote brownfield reuse. This paper examines the VCPs of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan to explore how these states address CERCLA’s barriers to brownfield redevelopment. In addition, this paper offers recommendations for the development and improvement of VCPs in the future.

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