We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
A Move to Rein in Cancer-Causing ‘Forever Chemicals’ (The New York Times, Oct. 18, 2021)
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it would require all chemical companies to test and report the presence of PFAs, which many see as a first step toward getting them out of our water supply. PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, are manmade chemicals that do not breakdown, earning them the name “forever chemicals.” These chemicals have made their way into our water supplies, affecting health and the way we think about property containing these chemicals.
The Covid Crisis is Now a Garbage Crisis Too (The New York Times, Sep. 18, 2021)
The COVID-19 crisis introduced disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) into our everyday lives in a completely unpresented way, and increased the amount of PPE for hospitals and other healthcare providers. As we learned more about how COVID-19 was spread, it became abundantly clear that surface spreading was not a concern, yet COVID-19 waste is still being disposed of as medical waste, which is much worse for the environment.
Florida Crisis Highlights a Nationwide Risk from Toxic Ponds (The New York Times, Apr. 6, 2021)
“They are ponds the size of city blocks: Wastewater pits that hold the hazardous byproducts of coal. Lagoons brimming with diluted pig excrement. Vast pools atop stacks of radioactive tailings. The risks posed by pools of waste like these, a common feature at thousands of industrial and agricultural sites across the country, have been brought into sharp relief by a giant wastewater pond in Piney Point, Fla., that in recent days had appeared in danger of catastrophic failure.”
Impact on Property Value & Other Issues
‘Toxins Don’t Stop at Property Lines’ : Homeless Population Camps at Potentially Hazardous Sites (KCUR, Aug. 26, 2021)
“Platt said that unless there is “a clear and present danger” at the site, the city will wait until more housing options are available in the next couple of months before attempting to move people to a more permanent relocation. That’s not soon enough for Rizzo, who said that if it’s a toxic waste site, even one more day living there is too long. Rizzo said that he and other Columbus Park residents have considered taking legal action against the city to get the homeless group off the lot. But since the city can claim that they are only there temporarily, he said he anticipates hitting a brick wall with any legal action.”
Residential Zoning at Former Monsanto Site Dangerous for Future Homebuyers (The Daily Herald, Jul. 18, 2021)
“Unsuspecting property and/or home buyers need to be made aware of the health hazards and dangers that they may be exposing themselves and their families to if they purchase homes and property on the Monsanto footprint in Columbia. They also may purchase homes and properties that cannot preserve their investment value much less gain any appreciation. The resale value of their homes and properties may take a nosedive once potential buyers discover the land is the site of current Superfund sites and a former chemical plant that buried hazardous, toxic and contaminated wastes that are still there today.”
Brownfields: The Basics & Appraisal Techniques
Detroit’s Former Packard Plant Could Have New Owner by Year’s End (The Detroit News, Oct. 16, 2021)
The 20-acre site of the old Packard Plant, which was left to fall into complete disrepair, may finally have a clear future. The site, which is on Detroit’s east side, was purchased by a developer for mixed-use in 2017, but had various setbacks. Earlier this year, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority staff recommended that the plan be terminated “on the basis that the projects had failed to occur with respect to the eligible property for at least two years following the date of the plan. …”
This State Plans to Spend $25 Million to Clean Up ‘Brownfields’ (The Hill, Sep. 17, 2021)
Vermont Governor Phil Scott has announced that the state will be spending $25 million dollars on redeveloping brownfields. So far, the state has identified over 70 sites that meet the criteria to receive funding, most of which were industrial sites that have been sitting vacant. The sites will not be residential, but larger operations that will employ large numbers of people, another economic benefit.
Brownfields: A Look at Designations, Funding, and Usage (Environment, Health, and Safety, May 25, 2021)
“Brownfields’ designations come from local and state governments. Although specific procedures vary from state to state, there are basically two paths to receive a brownfield designation in order to receive federal and state aid to capitalize on the reuse of brownfield property.”
Seller Beware: Coordinating Brownfields Redevelopment with Remediation (New Jersey Law Journal, May 14, 2020)
“Because buyers tend to be single-purpose entities formed solely for the acquisition and development of the subject property, while the seller obviously already owns the property and has the primary obligation to remediate it, the burden of greater care arguably falls upon the latter. In a nutshell, the seller of contaminated property is essentially taking a leap of faith that the buyer will complete the remaining remediation tasks in a timely fashion in the best case, and that it will not create a greater mess that becomes seller’s regulatory obligation to address in the worst case.”
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Brownfields (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Superfund (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
My Environment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
NAR Talking Points: How to Talk About Environmental Issues (National Association of REALTORS®)
Smart Growth: A Toolkit for REALTORS® (National Association of REALTORS®)
Household Hazardous Waste (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Books, eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Mixed-Use Development: Nine Case Studies of Complex Projects (eBook)
Land Development (eBook)
Pollution and Property (eBook)
Sustainable Property Development (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
Property Values and Environmental Factors Special Edition (San Diego, CA: American Real Estate Society, 2014) NAC1565 Am3
Environmental Hazards and Residential Property Values: Evidence from a Major Pipeline Event (Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University, 2006) NAC 1565 H19
Greenfields, Brownfields and Housing Development (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 2002) NAC 852 A1
Turning Bases into Great Places: New Life for Closed Military Facilities (United States Environmental Protection Agency, Jan. 2006)
Valuing Contaminated Properties: An Appraisal Institute Anthology (Chicago, IL: Appraisal Institute, 2002) HD1389.5.U6 V36 2002
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