How would the American Jobs Plan address insufficiencies in affordable housing and equitable development?

Following up on our previous overview of the American Jobs Plan, we explore some specific provisions related to land use and development intended to address national insufficiencies in affordable housing and related infrastructure, and also make some recommendations to improve it. Within the expansive American Jobs Plan, there are four land use and development proposals … Continued

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Register for the BUILDing on brownfields progress webinar

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development, or BUILD Act was signed into law in March 2018 and is the first major legislative change to brownfields law since passage of the original statute in 2002. Specific changes include: increased funding for cleanup, program eligibility expanded to include non-profit organizations, additional liability protections, and changes to grant … Continued

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Bipartisan omnibus bill represents a strong federal commitment to local communities

Yesterday, congressional leaders released a bipartisan FY18 omnibus funding agreement. In response Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson issued the following statement: “This bipartisan appropriations bill reflects a strong federal commitment to rebuilding our country’s neighborhoods and investing in a range of federal programs that will help local leaders and advocates build strong … Continued

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House passes brownfields reauthorization bill

Thursday night, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3017, the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017, that would allow up to $250 million to clean up brownfield sites each year. Smart Growth America, LOCUS and the National Brownfields Coalition support the bill’s provisions and commend the bill’s sponsors for their hard work to bring this bill to fruition.

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From Vacancy to Vibrancy

In response to increasing demand for homes in close-in neighborhoods, many cities and towns are pursuing redevelopment of places that have struggled with blight and disinvestment for years. These redevelopment initiatives are frequently impeded by the presence of properties with known or suspected contamination issues, which have often remained vacant in spite of federal, state … Continued

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In wake of Senate action, Representatives Pallone and Tonko introduce House version of Brownfields authorization bill

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EPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former tin manufacturing and can factory into a mixed-use office and retail hub in Canton, Baltimore, MD. Photo via EPA.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill to authorize and improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. Now the House of Representatives is moving to do the same.

Last week Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2016 (H.R. 5782). The legislation would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enhance EPA’s Brownfields program and include it as a formal part of the federal budget.

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Senate passes bill to help communities redevelop brownfield sites, urges House of Representatives to do the same

quik-trip-greenvilleEPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former auto body repair shop into a neighborhood market in an underserved community in Greenville, SC. Photo via.

With sweeping bipartisan support, last week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to help communities across the country clean up and redevelop contaminated land. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the champions of the bill, urged his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same.

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Senate EPW Committee votes to reauthorize EPA's Brownfields program

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The EPA Brownfields program helped to remediate a former railroad line in Greenville, SC. Today that line is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the backbone of an extensive pedestrian and bicycling trail system in the county. Photo via Flickr.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program has helped hundreds of communities clean up and redevelop vacant and contaminated land known as brownfields. The program has not been an official part of the federal budget for several years, however. Last week the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted to change that.

On May 18, the EPW Committee approved the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which would reauthorize the EPA Brownfields program through 2018. Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Edward Markey introduced the Act on June 2, 2015. Last week the bill passed on voice vote without amendment.

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House subcommittee examines the successes of and potential improvements to EPA Brownfields program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Brownfields program helps communities clean up and redevelop contaminated land and put it back into productive use. EPA Brownfield grants and assistance have helped turn former industrial sites into new parks, office buildings, performing arts centers, and more in communities across the country.

Although the program gets funding from Congress each year, it is not an official part of the federal budget. On April 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing about the program, including what about it currently works well, what could be improved, and how the program helps communities handle issues like environmental liability concerns, financial barriers, cleanup considerations, and reuse planning.

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