EVALUATING THE SUCCESS OF STATE VOLUNTARY CLEANUP PROGRAMS: A PROGRAM ANALYSIS OF ILLINOIS, NEW YORK AND TENNESSEE
States developed Voluntary Cleanup Programs (VCPs) in the mid 1990s to promote the
redevelopment of contaminated properties within state boundaries. Employing a variety of
mechanisms and incentives to help overcome barriers to brownfield redevelopment, the primary
responsibilities of VCPs involve providing legal liability, technical assistance and economic
incentives. Despite diverse approaches and the successful cleanup of brownfields, few programs
require routine or systematic methods to collect and record information to determine what
aspects of state VCPs are successful (Wernstedt, 2004).
This master’s project establishes a conceptual program analysis on the success of state
VCPs and evaluates the programs in Illinois, New York, and Tennessee. States were selected
based on maturity, size of program, and type of mandate. Evaluation criteria were established
using a National Brownfield Association report that identified key elements to VCP success.
Each VCP was examined in terms of environmental closure and liability clarity, use of agency
resources, cleanup goals to protect human health and the environment, and the availability of
financial incentives to meet brownfield needs. An overall score for each criterion was developed
and determined by evaluating various sub-criteria.
Results indicate that overall the three states incorporate diverse approaches while
incorporating elements of success. While Illinois utilizes agency resources well, the financial
incentives available in New York provide a creative means for voluntary parties to redevelop
contaminated sites. Tennessee does well in providing several of the key elements, but minimal
incentives are available for interested parties to overcome financial barriers of redevelopment.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:voluntary cleanup programs vcps illinois new york tennessee national brownfield association brownfields
Date of Publication:05/01/2007