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The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provides tax incentives to promote the cleanup of rural and urban industrial sites that had been contaminated by past use. However, the opportunity to develop these properties does not come without risk. Borrowers who develop brownfield properties can significantly decrease their risks by using properly structured environmental insurance.
In August 1997, as an outgrowth of President Clinton's Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda, the Taxpayer Relief Act was signed into legislation. In simple terms, the act provided tax incentives to promote the cleanup of rural and urban industrial sites that had been contaminated by past use.
Even though, state-by-state, the initiative was known by many different names, the buzzword "brownfield" quickly became the accepted term for orphaned or under-utilized industrial sites that qualified for preferential treatment under the government's cleanup standards. Pennsylvania, for example, instituted the Land Recycling Program, which promoted cleanup of contaminated sites, creation of jobs, and preservation of the state's farmland and green space. In that state, alone, nearly 300 sites have been remediated with the help of commonsense cleanup standards, user-friendly procedures, and affordable financing tools.
The chance to acquire and redevelop prime real estate at a discounted price, however, does not come …