Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Source Publication

Environmental Law: The Year in Review 2006. Aurora, ON: Canada Law Book, 2007.


brownfields; contaminated land; liability relief


The paper examines the extent to which state and federal governments in the United States seek to stimulate brownfields redevelopment by legislating immunity against third-party civil (common law) liability for "innocent" owners or operators who purchase contaminated land. Surveying developments in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia, it shows that such liability relief is uncommon, narrow, and largely unknown to brownfields lawyers. It concludes by identifying implications for Canadian lawmakers grappling with similar issues.