Many Obstacles To Brownfield Redevelopment

West Warwick, RI – Governor Almond indicated in his State of the State address Wednesday night that he will propose new tax incentives to encourage redevelopment of abandoned, polluted parcels of land, known as brownfields. The state has been trying to encourage brownfield redevelopment since 1995, but with only limited success.

Estimates of brownfield sites in Rhode Island range from 300 to 600. Since 1995, there have been only 67 brownfield rehabilitation projects in the state. Developers say there are not enough incentives. They say redeveloping abandoned sites is usually too expensive. They also worry about the legal obligations they assume by purchasing property that could be subject to strict environmental regulation.

WRNI?s Suzannah Gonzales filed this report. Suzannah Gonzalez is an environmental reporting fellow for the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island.