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Environmental Insurance for Brownfields Redevelopment: A Feasibility Study


Authors: Meyer, Peter B.     Chilton, Kenneth M.    

Report Acceptance Date: October 1998 (49 pages)
Posted Date: March 19, 2007

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Many American cities are now fiscally and economically stronger than they have been in years. However, the task of revitalizing America's cities remains unfinished, as does the challenge of pursuing sustainable development across metro areas and balancing the need for new growth with smart reinvestments in already developed urban areas. Returning urban brownfields to productive community use is a central aspect of both aims.

Towards this end, the Department is a principal partner in the Administration's initiative to help communities clean up and sustainably redevelop brownfields -- a priority for State and local elected officials. Our tools include a new Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) to specifically address brownfields redevelopment needs, participating in the Administration's Showcase Communities Initiative, providing technical assistance to State and local governments, and streamlining community development regulations to make them "friendly" to brownfields redevelopment.

Expanding our knowledge base and developing new tools is a vital part of our commitment. Consequently, the Office of Policy Development and Research has initiated an active brownfields research and development program. The purpose of our brownfields R&D work is to better understand how brownfields become barriers to revitalization of America's distressed communities and to develop ways to overcome or eliminate those barriers.

We are examining a range of issues: how the linked issues of environmental risk and neighborhood economic distress affect the redevelopment process, how the Community Development Block Grant program supports local brownfields revitalization efforts, how to pursue and reward innovative approaches for financing brownfields cleanup and development activities, what kinds of state initiatives work and don't work, and in this report -- how a new insurance tool could help.

This report, Environmental Insurance for Brownfields Redevelopment: A Feasibility Study, explores whether a new tool, environmental insurance, can help stimulate the redevelopment of urban brownfields. The report describes: 1) the types of environmental insurance available, 2) how insurance could be used at various stages of the redevelopment process, 3) current constraints on the use of suchinsurance as part of the redevelopment process, 4) case examples, and 5) suggested actions to overcome barriers to the effective use of environmental insurance.


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