We recently visited Riverwalk stadium and talked with one of the city planners resonsible for the development. We learned that government developers have additional regulations that they must follow, one of those being the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
NEPA requires federal agencies to complete an environmental impact assessment (EIS) for every major action that significantly affects the environment. If a state or local government uses federal funding for a development then they too are responsible for completing an EIS. NEPA ensures that the government considers all of the environmental impacts.
The Riverwalk development faced several environmental issues. This site has been involved in numerous types of industrial activities for over a hundred years. The land has been exposed to coal oil by-products, newspaper wastes, and railroad pollution.
NEPA was not a roadblock for the Riverwalk development because the city was redeveloping a brownfield. Environmental regulators encourage development that converts environmentally troubled areas into useful spaces.