The Missouri Brownfield Redevelopment Program is administered by the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Natural Resources. The program's purpose is to provide incentives for the redevelopment and revitalization of "environmentally challenged" properties. Financial incentives are available through the Missouri Department of Economic Development, while the Voluntary Cleanup Program oversees site cleanup.
By some estimates, 300,000 to 500,000 abandoned commercial and industrial properties dot the cities, towns and counties of the United States. Often with dilapidated buildings or weed-grown open spaces, these properties have come to be known as "Brownfields." The specter of hazardous chemical contamination has contributed to their abandonment by former owners, reluctance by lending institutions to provide financing for purchase and redevelopment, and avoidance of the properties by developers. Some of this real estate lies in economically blighted neighborhoods in need of jobs, or in highly desirable redevelopment areas such as waterfronts. Despite the opportunities they represent, the sites remain vacant due to real or perceived hazardous substance contamination and the liability that contamination can bring.