The National Brownfields Coalition testifies before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment

The National Brownfields Coalition was proud to testify before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment in a congressional hearing focused on “promoting economic and community redevelopment and environmental justice in the revitalization and reuse of contaminated properties.”

Watch: Hearing on “Promoting Economic and Community Redevelopment and Environmental Justice in the Revitalization and Reuse of Contaminated Properties.” House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

On December 8th, Chairwoman Grace Napolitano (CA-32) opened the session by highlighting the economic, environmental, and equity-focused benefits arising from new funding vehicles for brownfield and superfund remediation and redevelopment—including the highly anticipated Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2021. Six environmental justice and brownfield redevelopment advocates from across the country, including our very own Michael Goldstein, provided testimony on issues including the federal brownfields tax incentive, affordable housing incentives, support for EJ40, EPA’s role in supporting EJ communities, reinforcing partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and more.

After providing formal testimony, witnesses addressed a series of questions from the Committee surrounding tax policy and the various funding vehicles that exist to promote environmental redevelopment, concerns of gentrification, the need for substantial technical support to communities, and the catalytic potential of meaningful community involvement for long-term environmental resilience.

“Much of this work—difficult, challenging work—occurs in communities of color disproportionately burdened by human health risk, financial disinvestment, failing infrastructure, inequitable access to medical facilities and fresh produce providers, and the crush of economic gentrification and climate gentrification…We believe that this money will be catalytic and the delivery vehicle for much of the remediation that occurs of the most impaired water resources in the most disproportionately impacted neighborhoods across the land -urban, suburban, and rural.”

Michael Goldstein representing the National Brownfields Coalition

Michael Goldstein is a long-time member of our Steering Committee and Chair of the NBC Public Policy, Redevelopment Incentives, and Regulatory Partnerships Committee. He represented the Coalition before the House Subcommittee informed by three decades of experience working with communities to remediate, redevelop, and reuse contaminated sites. Mr. Goldstein’s testimony reiterated the importance of fostering robust inter-agency and intersectoral partnerships to support EJ communities and the need for additional targeted funding for acquisition, remediation, and reuse of contaminated sites for affordable, workforce, and attainable housing.