EVALUATING THE SUCCESS OF STATE VOLUNTARY CLEANUP PROGRAMS: A PROGRAM ANALYSIS OF ILLINOIS, NEW YORK AND TENNESSEE
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States developed Voluntary Cleanup Programs (VCPs) in the mid 1990s to promote the redevelopment of contaminated properties within state boundaries. Employing a variety of mechanisms and incentives to help overcome barriers to brownfield redevelopment, the primary responsibilities of VCPs involve providing legal liability, technical assistance and economic incentives. Despite diverse approaches and the successful cleanup of brownfields, few programs require routine or systematic methods to collect and record information to determine what aspects of state VCPs are successful (Wernstedt, 2004). This master’s project establishes a conceptual program analysis on the success of state VCPs and evaluates the programs in Illinois, New York, and Tennessee. States were selected based on maturity, size of program, and type of mandate. Evaluation criteria were established using a National Brownfield Association report that identified key elements to VCP success. Each VCP was examined in terms of environmental closure and liability clarity, use of agency resources, cleanup goals to protect human health and the environment, and the availability of financial incentives to meet brownfield needs. An overall score for each criterion was developed and determined by evaluating various sub-criteria. Results indicate that overall the three states incorporate diverse approaches while incorporating elements of success. While Illinois utilizes agency resources well, the financial incentives available in New York provide a creative means for voluntary parties to redevelop contaminated sites. Tennessee does well in providing several of the key elements, but minimal incentives are available for interested parties to overcome financial barriers of redevelopment.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectVoluntary Cleanup Programs (VCPs)
National Brownfield Association
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