Larry's at it again!Â Reliance on the so-called "polluter
pays" principal is largely responsible for increasing the number of, if
not being primarily accountable for creating, the tens of thousands (if not
more) abandoned and boarded up former industrial and commercial properties that
make up much of the nation's stockpile of brownfield properties.Â As long as federal
law and that of some states considers to be "polluters" the innocent
parties who complied with procedures that were "industry standard" when
carried out, violated no contemporary standard of care, and acted without
intent to pollute, those parties will continue to have no incentive to discover
(let alone disclose or voluntarily remediate) historical adverse environmental
conditions on their properties.Â Similarly, to reach into the pockets of such
parties to finance current federal or state brownfield grant programs is
equally unjust.Â I would be sympathetic to an approach that allows recourse
against true "scoff-laws," but inasmuch as society as a whole benefited
from the prosperity spawned by law-abiding businesses, society as a whole
should bear the burden or correcting the problems created by such activities if
they met the standards of the time.
Barry J. Trilling
Partner, Wiggin and Dana, LLP
400 Atlantic Street
P.O. Box 110325
Stamford, Connecticut 06911-0325 ÂÂÂÂÂ
Office:ÂÂ 203 363-7670
Fax:ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ 203 363-7676
Cell:ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ 203 556-3764
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: [CPEO-BIF] US Mayors Brownfield Report
Larry, keep stirring the pot! I happen to disagree with you
on this one - strongly - and think this would create a huge chilling effect on
redevelopment activity, killing an important percentage of it in the
starting gate. In fact, I can think of a number of valid public policy reasons why
federal resources should not be allocated for this type of
activity. Not even for a minute.
That said, I would like to switch gears and raise another issue
implicated by the huge federal investment in assessment and cleanup grants,
which investment is channeling hundreds of millions of dollars into the
coffers of environmental engineering and consulting firms.
The issue is this: Given the windfall that these firms are
enjoying, how many have turned around and made a point to hire graduates from
EPA's Brownfield Job Training Grant Program? I've been participating
in a BJTG Program here in South Florida, and we are having a heck of a
time getting firms to even attend our job fairs, much less hire our
I'm wondering what others are seeing across the country.
For the EPA folks on this listserv, is the Agency collecting this
type of data (and, if so, is an attempt being made to correlate the firms that
are receiving EPA assessment/cleanup grant funded work with the number of hires
these same firms make out of the BJTG Program)?
It would be illuminating to know which firms are getting the most
grant funded assessment and cleanup work and what their BJGT Program hiring
In our part of the world - and I'm confident this is true all over
the country - we are graduating bright, eager, enthusiastic students who
emerge from the program with high expectations and great need. We
need to get them gainfully employed, and the firms that are the
beneficiaries of EPA's assessment and cleanup grants should be lining up to do
the hiring. This may, in fact, be happening elsewhere; unfortunately, we're
seeing very little of it in South Florida. Again, what are others seeing?
R. Goldstein, Esq.
Southeast Third Avenue, 28th Floor
Reuse, and Restore Environmentally Impacted Properties: Rebuild Your Community
One Brownfield at a Time"
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[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 3:32 PM
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] US Mayors Brownfield Report
an unaddressed question is how much of brownfield assessment or
cleanup grant funds have been used at former corporate facilities for which
there are still viable PRPs? I think the federal government should
seriously consider seeking cost recovery from viable PRPs for brownfield sites
where EPA has awarded brownfield assessment or cleanup grants. In a time
of diminishing federal resources, this could help assure there will be
sufficient funds in the future for more brownfield funding as well as help
replenish the superfund account.
not suggesting using cost recovery up front since this would delay
redevelopment. Nor am I suggesting that EPA pursue small businesses
or disqualify an application/grantee because a viable PRP is around. However,
when brownfield grants are used to assess former corporate
facilities-especially those abandoned in the past 20 years (i.e, after the
passage of CERCLA)- it seems to be we are creating yet another moral hazard to
those that have occurred in the past decade since cmpanies can export
jobs to Asia and abandoned their facilities figuring that the local
government will apply for brownfield funds to clean up the mess they left
be interesting to see if EPA even tracks how many sites that received
brownfield funding have viable PRPs associated with them. If I was a betting
man, I'd wager that EPA does not compile such info.
another example of the erosion of the "polluter should pay"
Schnapf Law Offices
55 East 87th Street, Ste. 8B
New York, NY 10128