Older--and often economically depressed--industrial cities generally have a number of well located but abandoned industrial sites. Too frequently these sites are heavily polluted by the residue of toxic wastes dumped when old factories were still in use. These "brownfield" sites must be cleaned up under existing law before they can be redeveloped. And yet the question of who will bear the cost of this cleanup frequently stymies efforts to return these sites to productive use. A complicated net of federal, state and local regulations can involve several generations of owners in potential liability for the cleanup, frequently resulting only in extended litigation, not often in the cleanup of the site. In this book, Elizabeth Glass Geltman surveys the laws on both the federal and state level with regard to the cleanup of brownfield sites. The author makes valuable suggestions for reforming these laws that will help encourage land reuse and the accompanying redevelopment of the industrial base of many American cities both large and small.
Elizabeth Glass Geltman is Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School and is the author of many books on environmental law, including Modern Environmental Law: Policy and Practice.