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Keywords :- The Comparison between contaminated land in the UK and US.

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From: -Richard Spencer
Organization: Leeds Metropolitan University
Date: 30th April 1998
Subject: The comparison of contaminated land in the UK and US







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Dear Micky,

I am currently undertaking research for my final year thesis at Leeds Metropolitan University. The subject of my dissertation is the comparison of contaminated land in the UK and US.

I have had no trouble in gaining vast information on the UK side, but I am having difficulty in acquiring much on the policies/strategies in the United States.

I am therefore hoping you are able to assist with any information that can be gained with regard to any of the following:

  1. the scale of contaminated land in US
  2. the general history of contamination policies, strategies and control framework
  3. liability apportionment
  4. the future of contaminated land policies
I realise it may not be possible to attain all of the above titles, but I would be extremely greatful for any information which you think will be of assistance to me.

If information is sparse, I would be appreciative of any direction to where I might find such literature, or even better a contact in the US.


Richard Spencer

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Dear Richard--I hope this helps you,

From my experience, books, literature, public records, and a generally open attitude about brownfields is more prevalent in the US. Although from my work I have found that communties are not real willing to talk about it, the information is there and easy to locate.

Discovering history of ownership of anything is the US is relatively simple by consulting Sanborn Maps at the public library in town. As Cleveland has only been around since 1796, (Cleveland was founded by Moses Cleaveland whose parents were from Manchester) finding what was on particular parcels of land for the last 120 years is virtually painless.

If someone wanted to, they could sit down and go over it and give you an exact number of how many brownfields there were in a community just by vacancies and location of prior industries.

  1. The scale of contaminated land in US

    There are thought to be around 500,000 brownfields in the US. Of that, 107,000 are thought to be in Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)

  2. The general history of contamination policies, strategies and control framework, liability apportionment

    A basic, yet excellent book is Basic Guide to Environmental Compliance by Jeffrey W. Vincoli, CSP.

    For strategy and policy, I suggest reading Robert Simons, Ph.D. He has written books such as Turning Brownfields into Greenbacks. He has worked over in your country also looking at contaminated land.

  3. The future of contaminated land policies

    That is being actively worked on by the EPA. Last month, I delivered a quantitative study done for Region 5 that I performed last summer.

    You can access this study which ought to give you useful information at Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center

    If I can be of further help, please feel free to contact me.


    Jacqueline K. Holland

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