Friday, 01 December 2017 15:35

Katko Legislation to Reauthorize Brownfields Program Passes House

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This evening, legislation authored by U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) to reauthorize the Brownfields Program passed the U.S. House of Representatives with broad, bipartisan support. The legislation was included as part of a larger, comprehensive bill, H.R. 3017, the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017.

Rep. Katko, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the bipartisan Brownfields Reauthorization Act with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) earlier this year. The legislation reauthorizes the Brownfields program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Doing so will help communities in Central New York and nationwide revitalize neighborhoods and spur economic development through Brownfields reassessment and remediation.

Rep. Katko spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this evening in support of the legislation. Video of his remarks is available here.

Following passage of the bipartisan legislation, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders in released the following statements:

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA): “Every single congressional district has at least one brownfields site, and this bipartisan bill will help put those idle, unused properties back into productive use, providing economic and environmental benefits to communities across the country. I appreciate the work of my colleagues on both the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee for collaborating on this bill, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR): “The Brownfields Program has a proven record of success – assisting states and communities in the redevelopment of abandoned or underutilized properties by leveraging federal seed money and technical expertise to attract state, local, and private dollars to create jobs and spur economic growth. Congress has heard from mayors, county executives, state officials, and other stakeholders regarding the critical importance of the Brownfields Program. I am proud to work on this bipartisan legislation and I will continue to work with my colleagues to see this critical bill signed into law.”

Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA): “Every federal dollar invested in the Brownfields Program leverages an average of $16 to $17 to clean up sites, improve property values, create thousands of jobs, and generate more local revenue. This commonsense bill provides for brownfields assessment and cleanup grants, clarifies liability protections, and enables states, local governments, and tribes to revitalize more of America’s communities.”

Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA): “Data provided by the EPA shows that since its inception, the Brownfields Program has helped create more than 122,800 jobs, leveraging over $23.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding. For every $1 of brownfields funding, more than $16 of other public and private dollars are leveraged, generating more than eight jobs for every $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended. It is undeniable that this program is working as it should and that communities in Southern California and across the nation are benefiting from the investment of federal dollars in remediating these sites. The Brownfields Program has received strong bipartisan backing, and I am pleased to support this legislation to improve upon its successes.”

U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY), H.R. 3017 cosponsor: “Communities across Central New York know all too well the impact of industrial pollution, and have benefited directly from the EPA Brownfields Program. I’m proud to have worked in a bipartisan manner with Chairman Shuster and Representative Esty to prioritize the reauthorization of this program. With this measure passed through the House, we are one step closer to ensuring industrial sites in our community and across this country are preserved and revitalized.”

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), H.R. 3017 cosponsor: “Today’s passage is an important step to ensure that our communities have every tool available to renew blighted properties and create good-paying jobs. Central and northwestern Connecticut has a long and proud industrial history, but that history has left an unwelcome legacy of brownfield sites throughout our region – from Meriden to Waterbury up to Plymouth and Torrington. Growing our economy and protecting our environment are not mutually-exclusive goals. They go hand-in-hand: every acre of brownfields redevelopment creates close to 10 jobs. This is an incredible opportunity to advance legislation demonstrating our universal commitment to creating jobs and strengthening the communities we are proud to represent.”

Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District of New York, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County. For more information visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.

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