Urban Redevelopment: Assessing Legal Rights and Responsibilities

EPA Grant Number: U915306
Title: Urban Redevelopment: Assessing Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Investigators: Whitney, Hope S.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: July 1, 1998 through July 1, 2001
Project Amount: $97,931
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Urban and Regional Planning , Economics and Decision Sciences , Academic Fellowships


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) examine the current policies promoting the redevelopment of polluted, urban land (i.e., "brownfields"); and (2) investigate how much protection is truly afforded by legislative and administrative decisions that limit developers' liability.


My research will investigate the legal aspects of all of the sides to the debate over brownfield development liability. First, I will determine whether developers and creditors can rely on current "hold harmless" clauses in the nation's "Superfund" law, and other state and local initiatives aimed at limiting liability. Second, I will examine the rights of third parties. Although these parties are not privy to agreements limiting liability for the brownfields, the parties may be harmed by the development of such property or if less than full cleanup is permitted.

Expected Results:

My research project will show how the legal issues affect policy and development decisions.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, brownfields, Superfund, liability., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Brownfields, Economics and Business, decision-making, Urban and Regional Planning, Economics & Decision Making, Environmental Law, redevelopment, legal issues, urban planning, Brownfield's developer liability, environmental policy, land development rights, developer liability, legal and policy choices

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final