Urban Agriculture and the Environment


As part of a broader American Bar Association project to offer guidance to urban farmers, this article considers environmental regulatory requirements and liability issues potentially affecting urban farming. Two issues are of particular interest. (1) Farming on or near contaminated urban soil has significant practical ramifications. It also can raise an array of subtle legal issues under CERCLA, depending on the farmer’s status as an owner or operator of the contaminated site. For example, urban farmers on city-owned land might find that they alone bear owner/operator liability because, under CERCLA, a city can be exempt. (2) Urban farmers also can encounter water quality protection issues with regard to storm water runoff from their operations. They can be part of the runoff problem or part of the runoff solution, depending on the nature of the farm


land use, green use, urban agriculture, environmental law, CERCLA, storm water.

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

The Urban Lawyer

Publication Information

46 The Urban Lawyer 227 (2014)

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