Audit faults Missouri program for contamination cleanup

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) – A new audit raises concerns about a Missouri program that provides tax incentives for developers to clean up contaminated old business sites.

The report Thursday by State Auditor Tom Schweich notes that Missouri authorized over $185 million of Brownfield Remediation Tax Credits for 115 projects from the 2003 to 2013 fiscal years. About four-fifths of those projects were in the St. Louis area.

Schweich gave the program a “poor” rating. The audit cited weaknesses in the Department of Economic Development’s oversight of the program, saying it has failed to hold down costs and allowed conflicts of interest.

The department said in a written response attached to the audit that it has worked to keep costs low and published newly proposed rules for the program in March.