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New Rule Will Accelerate Brownfields Development

Release Date: 11/01/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Kerry Humphrey, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-11/01/05) Stephen L. Johnson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is scheduled to announce the All Appropriate Inquiries rule Nov. 2 at this year's Brownfields Conference in Denver, Colo. The new rule establishes clear standards for environmental due diligence that will encourage more urban redevelopment.

"President Bush and EPA are committed to putting both property and people back to work through our successful brownfields program," said Johnson. "By making risk management less of a guessing game and more of a science, we are expanding the number of problem properties that will be transformed back into community assets."

The All Appropriate Inquiries rule is expected to increase private cleanups of brownfield properties while reducing urban sprawl, affecting more than 250,000 commercial real estate transactions nationwide annually. The rule's process of evaluating a property for potential environmental contamination and assessing potential liability for any contamination at the property increases certainty of Superfund liability protection, and improves information about environmental conditions of properties.

The rule was developed collaboratively with stakeholders representing diverse constituencies such as realtors, bankers, environmental interest groups, the retail industry, environmental justice organizations, and state, tribal and local governments.

Since its inception in 1995, EPA's brownfields program has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The brownfield program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to assess, safely clean up, and reuse brownfields.

Over the last decade the EPA's brownfields program has attracted more than $7 billion in public and private investments for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties in cities and towns across the nation, creating more than 33,000 thousand jobs. During this time, more than 7,000 properties have been assessed for environmental contamination.

For additional information, see the EPA's web site at: