A new push to make brownfield cleanup more affordable

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT-5) is fighting hard to reinstate a tax incentive to help cleaning up contaminated land more affordable and more feasible.

Late last month, Esty introduced the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2002), a bill to re-establish the Brownfields Tax Incentive which ended in 2011.

Originally signed into law in 1997 and codified through Section 198(h) of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax code, the Incentive allowed taxpayers to fully deduct the costs of brownfield sites’ environmental cleanup the year the costs were incurred—making the process more affordable for those who take it on.

“I hear over and over again from local leaders and business owners that one of the best ways we can revitalize our cities and towns is to support brownfield clean-up efforts,” Rep. Esty said in a statement about the new bill. “Cities and towns throughout central and northwest Connecticut have strong industrial histories and are now in the process of transitioning to new sources of economic growth. I’m doing what I can to be a strong partner in these efforts.”

Esty was joined by Congressman John Larson (D-CT-1), Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY-19), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), and Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT-4) who all signed on as cosponsors of the bill.

Before it ended, many communities used the Brownfields Tax Incentive to redevelop brownfield sites. In St. Louis, MO in 2001, the former Merchandise Mart building was transformed into a 213-unit mixed-income apartment redevelopment that helped revitalize the Washington Avenue Lofts District. In Liberty, TX in 2011, the former National Tube and Pipe factory was transformed into a state-of-the art manufacturing facility that brought 600 jobs back to the small town.

Speak out for the Brownfields Tax Incentive

The Brownfields Tax Incentive would make brownfields cleanup across the country more affordable. Tell your representative that you support this bill:

Smart Growth America is home of the National Brownfields Coalition, a group of national, state and local organizations that supports federal policies to accelerate cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated and abandoned land.