Critiquing how brownfields programs expanded without much attention to developments in the international environmental arena will illustrate some ways to alter them to comport with Agenda 21 and other prerequisites for sustainable development. Another interesting aspect of this analysis for the Rio + 10 review is its timing. The state and federal programs have mushroomed since 1992; for example, while a small minority of states had "voluntary cleanup programs" 10 years ago, virtually every state has one now, and there is considerable and increasing experience with them. If adjustments to these programs should be developed to comport with the prescriptions of Agenda 21 this would be an excellent time to consider making them.

A caveat is in order at the outset: this discussion offers only a brief introduction to this rapidly expanding field. Much has been written about it, including two treatises and numerous law review articles, and more is forthcoming at a rapid pace. For now, it is this Article's aim to describe some ways in which existing state and federal programs could be enhanced to achieve Agenda 21's objectives.

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“© 2002 Environmental Law Institute®, Washington, DC. Reprinted with permission of ELI®.”