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Abstract

In the last two decades, manufacturers have moved away from the inner city, taking valuable job opportunities and leaving behind environmentally hazardous sites. These sites are expensive to clean up when abandoned, and the lenders may be held liable as a last resort. This situation has created a large disincentive for remediating these sites, preventing poor inner-city communities from realizing meaningful economic opportunities. Mr. O'Reilly contends that current federal remediation procedures fraught with uncertainty and high cost are the primary cause of this barrier to inner-city economic rejuvenation. In a "report from the field," Mr. O'Reilly examines Indiana's most recent effort to overcome this barrier and facilitate inner-city site cleanup. This unique Indiana program allows developers and manufacturers, through voluntary remediation agreements, to clean up potentially productive inner-city sites without the specter of liability. Mr. O'Reilly concludes that Indiana's program is necessary for renewed inner-city job growth and should serve as a model for the rest of the country.

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