Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Peter B. Lederman

Second Advisor

John Opie

Third Advisor

Jeffery David Anstine

Abstract

The thousands of former industrial properties lying vacant in New Jersey are an economic challenge for all areas of government. If these properties are, or are perceived to be, contaminated then they are labeled Brownfields. An important question is whether the threat of liability for contamination by prior owners is a current cause behind the failure of developers to acquire and redevelop Brownfields in the State of New Jersey.

The goal of this work was to discover if there is a link between liability and the developer's decision making process. How important is the liability factor? Fifty-seven variables were examined in a survey that was sent to developers. The responses were ranked to discover the most critical concerns for the developers overall and by categories. Analysis revealed that the presence of an end user was the most critical factor, along with other factors related to profit. Long term liability exposure was also a concern, one of many on the critical concern list. The thesis concludes with recommendations for policy initiatives to assist with the redevelopment of Brownfields in New Jersey. The recommendations include the use of community development plans to attract end users, and the use of government programs to improve developer profit. These latter include reduce delay, preparing infrastructure and developing voluntary cleanup programs. The promotion of a Brownfields law to provide guidance is also suggested.

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