BEFORE AND AFTER: Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta was previously the site of an Atlantic Steel facility. The EPA’s Brownfields program helped make the redevelopment project possible.
Did you know that every federal dollar spent on brownfields cleanup leverages $17.79 in value for communities? And that redeveloping one acre of contaminated land creates an average of 10 jobs? These benefits don’t stop where the brownfield ends: the value of residential property near brownfield sites can increase anywhere from 5.1 to 12.8 percent when cleanup is complete.
These are just some of the many reasons why brownfields cleanup and redevelopment is a great investment of federal dollars, yet the Brownfields program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not formally authorized in the federal budget. Congress has the power to change that, and this week members of the House of Representatives will examine whether to do make brownfields cleanup an official part of the federal budget.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold a hearing on “Helping Revitalize American Communities Through the Brownfields Program.” Mark your calendar: the hearing will be livestreamed on the Subcommittee’s website starting at 10 AM EDT on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.
This hearing comes in the wake of similar action in the Senate. In June, six Senators from both parties came together to introduce the BUILD Act of 2015, which would reauthorize and expand the Brownfields program. Wednesday’s hearing would be the first potential step in creating a similar bill in the House.
Speak out for Brownfields redevelopment
In advance of this week’s hearing, tell your member of Congress that you support brownfield cleanup and redevelopment. Take a minute to send a letter to your representative today:
We’ll be tweeting about this week’s hearing at the hashtag #brownfields. Add your voice and join the conversation on social media to help more communities clean up and redevelop contaminated land.