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By Paul Stanton Kibel

The Earth on Trial examines the measure to which the legislations has accommodated an elevated realizing of the typical setting. Paul Stanton Kibel offers a transparent evaluate of what conceptual and functional adjustments are had to reconcile legislations to the bounds of ecology. by means of relocating the controversy among legislations and the surroundings past experts, and in the direction of a public discussion board, The Earth on Trial recognizes fit environmental destiny relies no longer quite a bit on our skill to change nature to house society, as our skill to change society to house nature.

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17 Among other things, SARA sought to establish a viable “innocent landowner defense” for parties who purchased property after contamination occurred. Under SARA’s provisions, a purchaser would not be liable for remediation costs if the party could 15 Paul Stanton Kibel demonstrate that it “did not know nor had reason to know” of the hazardous waste contamination when the party acquired the property. The objective of this language was to provide the prospective purchaser with sufficient protection, or immunity, so that polluted properties could be redeveloped.

For environmental justice advocates, redevelopment meant ensuring that health conditions and the economic self-reliance of poor, inner city residents were improved, not worsened, by brownfields reclamation. The divisions that emerged at the 1995 NEJAC dialogues have continued to define the evolution of the brownfields issue. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance, many of the local participants in the Oakland NEJAC dialogue went on to form the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Brownfields Working Group (SF Brownfields Working Group).

Prior to the EPA Agenda, the term brownfield generally held a negative meaning, both environmentally and investment-wise. It referred to former industrial properties that were now unused due to uncertainty over environmental remediaton liability. EPA’s program sought to transform this meaning, to change the language of brownfields from talk of obstacles to talk of opportunity. ”20 As such, the EPA Agenda suggested that the brownfields issue was not just about limiting the liability of banks and real estate developers; it was also about providing inner-city residents with a strategy to improve the economy and environmental health of their communities.

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