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National Brownfield Association Statement of Guiding Principles

The responsible redevelopment and productive reuse of brownfields properties are in the best interests of society for a number of environmental, economic, and social reasons.  Accordingly, the public and private sectors should move expeditiously, and in partnership, promote policies and legislation that remove unwarranted obstacles to the cleanup, transfer, and economically feasible reuse of brownfields.

"Brownfields" include properties that are contaminated or perceived to be contaminated.  They may also include properties that are underutilized for various socioeconomic reasons, such as abandonment, obsolescence, tax delinquency, and/or blight.

Stakeholder Participation: The participation of a wide range of stakeholders (owners, developers, transaction support, public sector, and community representatives) regarding brownfields, and in individual brownfield transactions, should be encouraged.

Allocation of Resources: Resources should be allocated to foster partnerships between the public and private sectors and to encourage the reuse and redevelopment of brownfields consistent with the environmental and socioeconomic needs of the community. 

Government Incentives: All levels of government should offer and appropriately fund, as conditions warrant, a wide range of flexible incentives that promote the investigation, cleanup, transfer, and reuse of brownfields. 

Liability Issues: The public and private sectors should address the concerns of buyers and sellers regarding liability for site conditions, and "finality" of cleanup decisions, at all levels of government. 

Long-Term Effectiveness of Cleanups: The public and private sectors should devise workable mechanisms, such as viable institutional controls, to ensure the long-term effectiveness of cleanups.

Risk Assessment and Cleanup Approaches: All levels of government should investigate, and as appropriate adopt, flexible yet protective and scientifically sound risk assessment and cleanup approaches that are consistent with current and reasonably anticipated land and resource uses.

Educational Outreach: Opportunities should be provided to stakeholders to educate the public and private sectors regarding brownfield policies and incentives, network with other stakeholders to stimulate brownfield reuse, and encourage dialogue aimed at fostering responsible brownfield reuse that accounts for local needs and concerns.