EPA’s Brownfields Program Plays a Vital Role in Economic Redevelopment and Creating Jobs Across the Country
WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee is set to pass H.R. 3017, Brownfields Enhancement Economic Redevelopment and Reauthorization Act of 2017, authored by #SubEnvironment Vice Chairman David McKinley (R-WV). H.R. 3017 would reauthorize and make improvements to the EPA Brownfields Program, encourage EPA, states, and local governments to work together to redevelop properties, create jobs, and provide for economic development.
Brownfields sites are often abandoned, closed, or under-utilized industrial or commercial facilities, such as an abandoned factory in a town, a closed commercial building or warehouse, or a former dry cleaning establishment or gas station. EPA estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States, and each of these sites has the potential to encourage economic development through the Brownfields Program.
From California to West Virginia, EPA’s Brownfields Program has played an important role in revitalizing local economies as the success stories below point out.
- In committee member Rep. Mimi Walters’ (R-CA) district, the City of Orange, California, turned former landfills located on a railroad site into Grijalva Park at Santiago Center through grants provided by the EPA’s Brownfields Program.
- Back in #SubEnvironment Chairman John Shimkus’ (R-IL) district in Danville, Illinois, a report on the Brownfields Program determined the program, “helped encourage redevelopment and infill development in distressed neighborhoods in and around the downtown area that otherwise may have not been possible,” and, “helped transform other blighted vacant buildings into productive, tax-contributing properties.”
- In committee member Rep. Buddy Carter’s (R-GA) district, a Chick-fil-A in Valdosta and a Sam’s Club in Savannah currently sit on remediated Brownfield sites. Additionally, a former power plant on Jekyll Island is now home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center thanks to the Brownfields Program.
Rep. Carter Tours the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
- In Rep. McKinley’s home state of West Virginia, Pietro Fiorentini – an Italian-based manufacturer – recently broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Weirton on a site that was redeveloped through the Brownfields Program.
- The Okmulgee Business Complex, located in committee member Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) district, was previously a petroleum refinery and storage facility. Through the Brownfields Program, the remediated site is now home to three businesses (Tractor Supply, Harlan Ford, and a Holiday Inn Express).
- Minute Maid Park, just outside of #SubEnergy Vice Chairman Pete Olson’s (R-TX) district, sits on a former Brownfields site. WATCH Rep. Olson discuss the project during a committee hearing here.
Minute Maid Park Before & After – Photo Credit: City of Houston