Brownfields in historical context

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Numerous factors have shaped our society's use and perception of abandoned industrial property. These factors include: the reasons why firms originally located facilities where they did; why they subsequently abandoned those sites; past waste disposal practices that resulted in the contamination of many sites; the evolution of laws that assigned liability for that contamination; and changing public perceptions and needs. In the 1980s, as problems with the contamination of abandoned industrial sites became a significant public concern, barriers to redevelopment that already existed were magnified. Efforts to reintegrate these "brownfields" back into the landscape and economy became a major policy issue. More recently, new legislation has removed some of the barriers to redevelopment, resulting in a new approach to a complex problem. © 2003 National Association of Environmental Professionals.

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Environmental Practice