The Senate and the House overwhelmingly passed the “Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000.” Among the provisions of this tax incentive package is a major amendment to the way environmental remediation costs are treated. Under current law, environmental remediation costs are not currently deductible unless the property is located in an Enterprise Zone. Rather, such costs must be capitalized. The new tax provision will allow a current deduction for remediation expenses if the state environmental agency certifies the site. This would effectively reduce the cost of remediation costs for most corporations by about 30 to 40 percent (when state income tax savings are taken into account)....A new sort of manual for brownfield redevelopment is available on-line from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the first in their new series of Reviews of Literature and Practice. The item, titled “Reclamation and Economic Regeneration of Brownfields” outlines the “hows” of economic development on brownfield sites. The EPA says “This review identifies common themes and distills lessons from more than a decade of intense efforts by practitioners to redevelop idle brownfield properties. Focusing on redevelopment for commercial and industrial purposes, it examines the role of local, state, and federal economic development organizations in promoting redevelopment.” Appendices with lists of manuals and sources of case studies, as well as the electronic addresses of relevant federal agencies may also be useful. The work was intended to stimulate interest in brownfields from development agencies and private developers, and thus gives the environmental issues little attention. It assumes an adequate cleanup regulatory environment is in place and does not promote shortcuts. If you assume you have adequate controls in place, it may help you deal with, and perhaps help attract, private developers to your problem sites. The manual is available at www.doc.gov/eda/pdf/meyer.pdf.
The EPA has released a new guide to brownfield cleanups. Road Map to Understanding Innovative Technology Options for Brownfields Investigation and Cleanup, is aimed decision makers who have brownfield sites to deal with, but who may not be familiar with all elements involved in cleaning up those sites. The guide is designed to promote innovative site characterization and cleanup technologies that can speed up the progress of brownfield projects while reduces the costs of cleanup. The guide also includes a CD-ROM tool kit with information or links to resources. The guide is available from NTIS at 800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000. Cost is $39.95 plus $5.00 for handling. The order number for the guide is PB2000-106579KQT.
Argonne National Laboratory scientists have developed a process that recovers and cleans flexible polyurethane foam (FPUF) derived from automobile shredder residue. The process, developed in the Argonne, Ill. lab removes typical contamination such as automotive fluids, glass and metals and returns a clean product that can be used without additional processing by foam rebonders for use in carpet pads, furniture cushions and automotive soundproofing. See www.techtransfer.anl.gov/techtour/autoshredder.html for more information on this 2000 R & D 100 Award winning project....The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created a free internet mapping program available that provides a means of planning projects and programs using HUD and EPA data. A part of HUD’s Healthy Communities Environmental Mapping program, HUD E-Maps, as the program is called, is the first step toward integrating data from a wide-range of federal agencies. You can find the maps at www.hud.gov/emaps. ...National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) reports that Congress has dramatically increased federal funding for local land conservation. Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Urban and Community Forestry each received funding....Former military sites that were closed as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act are potential real estate “jewels,” several speakers said Nov. 1 at a San Francisco conference that focused on redeveloping contaminated properties. The Presidio in San Francisco is one of the “crown jewels” of the BRAC program, according to Karen Cook, the general counsel of the Presidio Trust. The federally mandated trust was created in 1996 to preserve and enhance the Presidio, which was the longest operating military base in the United States. The conference, sponsored by RTM Communications Inc., was held Nov. 1-2 in San Francisco....GR Insider, a publication of the ICSC government relations organization, reports on a new coalition called the Construction Environmental Roundatable, formed by Associated Builders and Contractors. The group hopes to provide a forum where developers can meet with regulators to discuss environmental policies and their effects on builders.
Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment (Ohio Issue I) Nov. 7 allowing the state to sell $400 million in bonds for the redevelopment of polluted industrial sites and the preservation of undeveloped lands. The ballot initiative, “brownfields and greenfields,” was championed by Gov. Bob Taft (R)....In Oregon, voters passed a ballot initiative that requires state and local governments to compensate property owners when regulations restrict the use of property and reduce its value. However, implementation of the Oregon measure appears to be uncertain. Although the Oregon constitution prohibits the “taking” of property for public use without just compensation, it does not require any payment when the value of property is reduced due to a regulation that only restricts the use of such property.....The Oak Ridge Reindustrialization program in Tennessee was featured in the 2000-2001 Tennessee Economic Development Guide. Oak Ridge converted the facilities at the Department of Energy’s former K-25 gaseous diffusion site into the East Tennessee Technology Park’s Heritage Center. The partnership formed by the Department of Energy, the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee and Bechtel Jacobs Company has been successful in creating 1,200 jobs with a local payroll of nearly $40 million.... Another DOE tract is open for business in Tennessee. The Horizon Center, also in Oak Ridge, has secured its first tenant, Theragenics, and is seeking others, according to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee. ...Massachusetts has a new website devoted to brownfields and brownfield redevelopment opportunities. Dial up www.massbrownfields.state.ma.us on your web browser....Virginia has unveiled VirginiaScan a new feature on the state web site designed provide a searchable database of sites for businesses considering locating in the state. The site, which features many brownfield properties, is operated by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and can be found at their site, www..YesVirginia.org. ...If you are dealing with arsenic in groundwater you may be interested in a study by the Minnesota Groundwater Association that examines geologicly formed arsenic in groundwater and the ways it can affect EPA-mandated reduction of arsenic in drinking water. Visit www.mgwa.org for information on receiving a copy of the study or to receive the organization’s newsletter.
The St. Paul, Minn. Port Authority discusses the use of a new state land acquisition law to acquire green spaces, and other recent developments in the Port Authority’s wide-ranging brownfield projects. Call 651-224-5686 for a copy....Hollywood Community Housing Corp. officially opened its most recent housing development, the Casa Verde Apartments in November. The 30 unit building was constructed as an urban infill project on the site of a former automotive facility, in Los Angeles, Ca.
The tenth annual Business & Industry’s Environmental Symposium will be held March 22-23, 2001 in Cincinnati. Some issues covered will include environmental management systems, ergonomic standard and health and safety issues, industry specific workshops, and remediation. Questions can be e-mailed to Mark Uher at MarkUher@MECseminars.com. ...Winston & Strawn released a client briefing that discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project XL. The proposal allows local governments to develop alternative approaches to replace or modify specific requirements imposed under federal environmental laws. For more information contact Jane Pigott at 312-558-5611 or James Russell at 312-558-6084....New technologies for underground cleanup have been announced by Integrated Water Resources, Inc. So far the processes, which use thermal technologies, have been used to clean up a utility company’s creosote and petrochemical contaminated site. Call 702-270-9194 for information....CET Environmental has expanded its board by naming John Hendrick, Ph.D., P.E. as a director of the Englewood, Colo.-based company. Talisman Partners, Ltd., a technical management consulting firm, and RS Means have developed RACER 2000 software. This Windows-based program estimates costs for all phases of environmental remediation projects. RACER 2000 can be used to develop and update cost estimates, evaluate the feasibility of various treatment options, quantify environmental liability for budgeting or disclosures, and develop a consistent approach for project budgeting. Talisman also offers RACER Decision Support, a consulting service that provides clients with environmental remediation cost estimates and third-party claims analyses. For more information visit www.talpart.com. ...The Dresner report, compiled by the Dresner Companies, an investment and capitol company located in Chicago, reports on recent mergers and sales offered by the company, including a number of brownfield opportunities. Call 312-726-3600 for a copy.
EC&S, a Traverse City, Mich.-based environmental services firm, examines a number of issues, including new ASTM standards in the latest issue of its newsletter “Earthtones.” Call 231-941-2366 to request a copy....Appraiser liability is covered in the Winter 2001 edition of the “Report from Counsel,” the newsletter of the law offices of Robert J. Ross, an Inverness, Ill.-based firm. Call 847-358-5757 for a copy....Cheryl Hoffman of Palladium Inc., a Denver, Colo.-based real estate investment advisory firm, has launched Brownfields Capital, a method of investing in the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield properties that also shields investors from liability. The fund will provide capitol for large-scale projects ($20 to $200 million) and aims to redistribute risks to “those who can best shoulder them.”...The Carlson Report explores the ins and outs of NFR letter in its November 2000 edition. Call 312-346-2141 for a copy.
Resources for the Future researchers Carl Bauer and Katherine Probst have uncovered a new proposal for how to fund long-term stewardship at contaminated sites. The researchers conclude that state and private trust funds are more likely than a federal stewardship trust fund to successfully assure financing and oversight of long-term stewardship. The authors make several other recommendations such as a call for new research into legal considerations involved in establishing trusts that are funded by the federal government but administered by other entities. They also urge the EPA to develop a long-term stewardship program that would spell out what is required and who is responsible for actions needed at sites under its jurisdiction. The study can be found at www.rff.org....Wetlands and Remediation: The 2nd International Conference will be held September 5-6, 2001, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont. The conference will be sponsored by Battelle, a not-for-profit organization engaged in technology development, management and transfer, and will deal with the remediation of contaminated wetlands and the use of wetlands to remediate soils, bodies of water, or waste streams. For information call The Conference Group at 800-783-6338 or 614-424-5461....AMB Property Corporation & AMB Investment Management, Inc. announce that their corporate headquarters have relocated to Pier 1, Bay 1, San Francisco, Calif. 94111....The Minnesota Environmental Initiative is accepting nominations for its Environmental Initiative Awards. The awards recognize five projects that exemplify the organization’s focus on collaborative approaches to pressing environmental issues. Nominations must be received by January 24, 2001. For information call 612-334-3093 or visit www.mn-ei.org....Public Technology Inc. and the Environmental Protection Agency announce The Local Government Brownfields Technology Summit to be held March 6-7, 2001 in Fort Worth, Texas. This event will focus on the various brownfields remediation technologies available to local governments. Contact John Rice at 202-626-2460 for more information.
People in the News
George B. Brewster joined the California Center for Land Recycling as its founding Executive Director four years ago and he’s decided the time has come for a new direction for him, and a change in leadership at CCLR. Brewster has accepted an offer to return to real estate investment and development as president of J. Voclkmann & Associates, a respected Bay Area developer of office and mixed-use projects. Brewster’s successor on the CCLR board is Stephanie Shakofsky. She will begin in her role as CCLR’s new executive director in January. Shakofsky comes to CCLR with a background in site remediation, fund raising, and public policy. In addition, Russell Mechem has recently joined CCLR from the U.S. EPA as our new Program Director....Bruce Beverly has been elected CEO of Haley & Aldrich, a national environmental consulting and underground engineering firm based in Boston....LAWGIBB Group has named Dr. Gary Hicks as Western Region Market Leader-Infrastructure. Dr. Hicks will be based out of the company’s San Diego office and will be working with clients throughout the West. “Gary is a world renowned expert in infrastructure materials engineering and he will be a tremendous asset to our clients by providing technical consulting on highways, roads, bridges, airports and port facilities,” Jack Fraser, Western Region Group Manager said....New officers of the Appraisal Institute for 2001 were introduced during the group’s annual fall meeting. The Appraisal Institute’s new president is Brian A. Glanville, MAI; Thomas A. Motta, MAI, SRA, was named president-elect; and Allan E. Hummel, SRA, was introduced as vice president. The Appraisal Institute can be reached at 312-335-4476....Joseph Manko, Marc Gold, Bruce Katcher and Robert Fox of the Bala Cynwyd, Pa. law firm Manko, Gold & Katcher, have been named in the 2000-2001 edition of the Best Lawyers in America....Stephen Jones and Thomas Myers have joined the Miami-based law firm, Greenber Traurig. Jones will focus on environmental regulations and compliance. Myers will specialize in environmental liability. Both will be based at the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.
A Note to Our Readers
In previous editions of the annual Brownfield News Resource Issue we have published a comprehensive list of federal programs and the contacts for each of them.
This year, however, is a bit different due to the inauguration of a new President on January 20.
The inauguration of the new administration means that many of the people and the programs they are involved with will be changing.
In order to present our readers with the most up-to-date information we plan to run our list of federal programs in our May/June issue when personnel decisions and shifts are closer to being final.