From: The Honorable Elizabeth H. Esty
Sent By: Jessica.Brown@mail.house.gov
Date: 3/4/2016

Support the EPA Brownfields Program

Deadline: COB Friday, March 18

Current signers: Cartwright, Courtney, Gibson, Gutiérrez, Moore, Norton, Rangel, Tsongas, Velázquez

 

** THIS IS A PROGRAMMATIC REQUEST **

Members are required to submit the request online.

Dear Colleague,

I write to ask you to join me in sending the letter below to the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, urging it to support robust funding for the EPA Brownfields Program in the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Brownfields are under-developed properties where the presence – or potential presence – of hazardous substances and environmental contamination prevents expansion, redevelopment, or reuse. In addition to generally being an eye-sore to our communities, Brownfield sites drive down property values and provide little or no tax revenues.

Brownfields redevelopment is incredibly important to communities across America. Originally authorized in 2002, the EPA’s Brownfield Program empowers states, communities, and stakeholders to assess, clean up, and redevelop these sites.

According to a 2007 study, approximately 10 jobs are created for every acre of brownfields redevelopment. Additionally, the return on investment cannot be overstated. On average, approximately $18 in private and public funding is leveraged for every grant dollar expended by the EPA’s Brownfields program.

Continued investment will return brownfields to productive uses, generate additional tax revenues, improve the environment, and revitalize communities all over America.

If you have any questions, or would like to sign on to the letter, please contact Jessica Brown (Jessica.Brown@mail.house.gov).  Deadline is COB Friday, March 18, 2016.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth H. Esty

Member of Congress

 

March XX, 2016

 

The Honorable Ken Calvert                                    The Honorable Betty McCollum

Chairman                                                                  Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and           Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and

Related Agencies                                                     Related Agencies

B-308 Rayburn House Office Building                    1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515                                           Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Calvert and Ranking Member McCollum:

Out of concern for the cities and towns struggling to find the resources to redevelop the estimated 450,000 to one million brownfields throughout our country, we write to urge you to provide robust funding for the EPA Brownfields Program in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Interior and Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.  The program was authorized by the Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 at $250 million annually, and strong support for full funding would represent a bipartisan commitment to preserve the program’s current value in this strained budget climate.

EPA’s investment over the program’s history has leveraged $23.3 billion in total investment, meaning each EPA Brownfields dollar expended leverages nearly $18 in additional private and public financing for assessment and cleanup.  This modest federal investment has also resulted in the assessment of more than 24,000 properties and helped to create more than 106,000 new jobs nationwide.  EPA’s program has made tremendous progress in accelerating the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites across the nation, such as gas stations and former industrial sites.

However, hundreds of thousands of other brownfield properties remain vacant and underutilized because of the lack of sufficient funding.  In fact, the demand for brownfields funding continues to grow and EPA has only been able to fund about one quarter to one third of the applications it receives.  Had Congress fully funded the administration’s request for the Brownfields program over the past five years, the grants could have created an estimated 50,633 additional jobs by leveraging at least $12 billion more in public and private funding. Increased investment will return brownfields to productive uses, generate additional tax revenues, improve the environment, and revitalize communities all over America.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  We recognize that there are many competing priorities facing your Subcommittee, but I also believe that brownfields redevelopment is a foundation of economic growth and a vital component of community revitalization.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth H. Esty

Member of Congress