Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Story Presented to Policymakers at the National Brownfields Conference

Last April, the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank, was invited to speak before approximately 6,500 national and local policymakers, developers, engineers and other community leaders at the 2011 National Brownfields Conference in Philadelphia.conference _logo
Representatives from the National Conference of Cities, state and local governments and community development organizations have long been concerned about brownfields and the best practices in addressing them. The Cuyahoga Land Bank is recognized as a leader in landbanking and was asked to speak about environmental policy and its effects on the goals and activities of land banks nationwide.
Gus Frangos, President of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, spoke on a panel dedicated to landbanking and the ability of such organizations to protect the environment against contamination. Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), honored the Cuyahoga Land Bank by telling the audience the group is “on the cutting edge of compliance with environmental laws.”
Cuyahoga Land Bank officials pointed out, however, that EPA regulations require unnecessary asbestos surveys, adding nearly $800,000 to the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s annual budget. Frangos added that he is advocating for changes to EPA regulations and will ask partner cities and the congressional delegation for relief.
Cuyahoga Land Bank staff works with the Ohio EPA’s asbestos management team, along with officials from the Ohio Department of Health and the City of Cleveland, to determine what needs to be done to expedite environmental compliance, why such steps should be taken and how to better manage the process and control costs.

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