Working Paper

Brownfields Redevelopment in Wisconsin: A Survey of the Field

Dec 10, 2003 | Kris F. Wernstedt, Lisa Crooks, Robert Hersh

Abstract

As the third paper in our three-part series on Wisconsin brownfields, this paper reports the results of a survey on the objectives of brownfields redevelopment, constraints to the redevelopment, the role of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and institutional controls. The 260 survey respondents include elected officials, staff from economic development and planning agencies, attorneys, private sector representatives, and professionals at nonprofit organizations. We find that: 1) respondents value both economic and environmental gains associated with brownfields redevelopment; 2) the high costs of cleanup are the principal barrier to brownfields redevelopment; 3) no single factor stands out as constraining DNR’s ability to oversee cleanups; 4) owners are more likely to be aware of institutional controls implemented through deed restrictions than through an electronic registry; and 5) attitudes regarding changes in DNR behavior along dimensions of flexibility, fairness, knowledge, and willingness to negotiate are more rather than less positive.