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Brownfield policies in the Midwest


  • Charles Bartsch


Contaminated and often abandoned or underused industrial sites--known as brownfields--dot cities across the Midwest. State and local officials are struggling to develop effective strategies to attract investments to these sites, to spark reuse efforts that will stimulate new economic activity and create jobs in these areas. But coping with the contamination at these sites has added a serious new dimension to the economic development process; in fact, addressing environmental concerns to the satisfaction of prospective lenders, tenants, and surrounding communities now constitutes a critical first step in such efforts--from both process and financial assistance vantage points. After setting the state a brief assessment of brownfield reuse barriers and a listing of key needs, this paper will examine both of these aspects. First, it will analyze voluntary cleanup programs currently operating or proposed in the states that the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago serves. Some states (such as Michigan) have had programs in place that are now being reviewed and modified; others (such as Illinois), are launching new efforts to complement related programs. The paper will then explore innovations in brownfield finance with the states and in prospective federal activity that could support brownfield reuse initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Bartsch, 1995. "Brownfield policies in the Midwest," Assessing the Midwest Economy MA-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhas:ma-3

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