A state audit questions the effectiveness of a program that cleans up contaminated land.
The Brownfields program provides tax credits for cleanup of areas contaminated enough to require special action, but not so contaminated that they qualify for the federal superfund program.
Auditor Tom Schweich’s team gives the program a “poor” rating, citing some questionable contracting practices, the possibility of conflicts of interest in designing the cleanup program, and failure of developers to create jobs they had said they’d create.
The Departments of Natural Resources and Economic Development say they have made policy changes to answer most of the criticisms.
Schweich says the public should care, although most of the projects are in the big cities.
The audit says developers of the ten sites examined had projected 25-hundred jobs would be created but only 116 fulltime and 332 part-time jobs have materialized. And no new buildings have gone up at any of the sites.