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Flipping Pollution Into Profit

Brownfields, which are defined by the state of New Jersey as "former commercial or industrial sites where the authorities know or suspect that the soil or the groundwater has been contaminated," are being reimagined as viable building sites thanks to a ten-year-old state policy called the Brownfield..




Brownfields, which are defined by the state of New Jersey as "former commercial or industrial sites where the authorities know or suspect that the soil or the groundwater has been contaminated," are being reimagined as viable building sites thanks to a ten-year-old state policy called the Brownfield Reimbursement Program.

Due to the short supply of "healthy" commercial real estate, the program offers to reimburse developers for 75 percent of environmental cleanup costs-that is, of course, as long as the developer's not responsible for the pollution in the first place. The sites are primarily being transformed into large retail properties, like Home Depot or Target.

It's business and government aligning their interests to clean up the land...and then cover it with a big-box store.






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