The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)

Spring 2002 (Volume 3, Number 1)


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President George Bush Cites GW's Environmental & Energy Management Program Brownfields Redevelopment Research Project


On January 11, 2002, President George Bush cited a recently completed E&EM brownfields redevelopment study in a speech accompanying his signing of H.R. 2869, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. The GW study, which was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was undertaken by E&EM doctoral candidate Jerry Sherk as part of his doctoral dissertation research, under the direction of Professor Jonathan Deason, Principal Investigator. In referring to the GW study, Bush said the following:

"Further benefit will come as businesses recycle older properties and spare surrounding lands from development. There has been a lot of talk about urban sprawl. Well, one of the best ways to arrest urban sprawl is to develop brownfields, and make them productive pieces of land, where people can find work and employment. By one estimate (GW's September 2001 report Public Policies and Private Decisions Affecting the Redevelopment of Brownfields: An Analysis of Critical Factors, Relative Weights and Areal Differentials), for every acre of redeveloped brownfields, we save four and a half acres of open space."

The figure that Bush cited is contained in the following quotation from the report's Executive Summary: "(c)alculation of …the 'areal differentials' indicated that the same project would have required significantly more land had it been developed in a greenfield area. The overall mean for the three subcategories into which the data were divided (industrial development, commercial development and residential development) was 4.5. This means, in essence, that every brownfield acre redeveloped would have required a minimum of 4.5 acres had the same project been located in a greenfield area."
In signing the bill, Bush called it "the most important piece of environmental legislation that came out of the Congress last year."


Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor