Author Archives: Jeri Mintzer

BUILD Act moves through committee

This morning, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted unanimously to pass the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013. The bill will go next to the full Senate for a vote.

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Brownfields financing legislation introduced in the House

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY) introduced the Brownfield Redevelopment and Economic Development Innovative Financing Act of 2014, or H.R. 4173. The legislation would re-establish a guaranteed financing program for brownfields at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and allow localities to utilize innovative financing mechanisms to begin the redevelopment process.

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600 manufacturing jobs return to Liberty, Texas with the help of Brownfields Tax Incentive

boomernag-tube
The Boomerang Tube Manufacturing Facility in Liberty, TX. Photo courtesy via Brinkmann Constructors.

Liberty, TX is one of the many communities where the federal Brownfields Tax Incentive has brought new jobs to formerly abandoned industrial plants.

The National Tube and Pipe (later Allied Pipe and Tube) opened in Liberty in 1973 and eventually became the largest employer in the town. When the company closed in 1993, it left behind a 492,000 square-foot manufacturing facility contaminated with PCBs, asbestos, a polluted retention pond and petroleum.

In 2009 Boomerang Tube, a manufacturer of pipe and tubes for oil and gas customers, announced its intent renovate and expand the old National Tube and Pipe factory into a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The project would bring 350 manufacturing jobs back to Liberty in the process. Boomerang Tube had one significant hurdle, though: an estimated $1.2 million in cleanup costs.

The federal Brownfields Tax Incentive program helped make cleanup feasible for Boomerang. The Tax Incentive effectively limited the impact of cleanup costs on the development budget. Tax abatement and other local incentives also factored in, and Access Industries provided financing for the project. All of this helped clear the way for a $200 million investment in the plant and equipment.

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Congressional testimony on brownfields highlights economic opportunities of redevelopment

Geoff Anderson

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week at a hearing titled “Cleaning Up and Restoring Communities for Economic Revitalization.” Joining him were Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator at the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Honorable Debbie O’Malley, Bernalillo County Commissioner from New Mexico, and Dr. Kendra Kenyon, President of the Idaho Council of Governments.

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House of Representatives calls economic redevelopment programs “nice-to-have,” moves to eliminate all funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program helps communities clean up abandoned land and put it back into productive use. Tomorrow Congress will begin considering whether the program will continue this work in 2014.

The Brownfields Program is rebuilding local economies across the country, and that’s not work we consider “lower-priority.”

On Wednesday, July 31, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will mark up the Interior and Environment and Related Agencies funding bill, which allocates funding for all EPA programs, including Brownfields. Last week, a House subcommittee passed a draft version of the bill. The draft bill would cut funding for the EPA by 34% overall—and zero out funding for the Brownfields Program.

Don’t let Congress zero out funding on community redevelopment: Send a letter to your Representative today.

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Senate votes to fund Partnership for Sustainable Communities, both bills go to full committee

As Congress negotiates the federal budget for the coming fiscal year, where do community development programs stand?

As of today, subcommittees in both the House and Senate have come out with their proposals for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding for fiscal year 2014.

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Video: Senator Inhofe on why he supports the BUILD Act of 2013

Smart Growth America’s National Brownfields Coalition hosted a breakfast at the 2013 Brownfields Conference that brought together more than 120 members and guests working on federal brownfields issues.

To open the event, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) welcomed guests with a video message about the importance of  brownfields redevelopment and its success across the country. Senator Inhofe is a lead sponsor of the BUILD Act, a bill in Congress that would help communities turn abandoned land back into vibrant spaces by reauthorizing the federal Brownfields program.


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Now Available: What the BUILD Act could build webinar archive

711 Canal Street in Stamford, CT. Image courtesy of Pullman & Comley Attorneys Thank you to everyone who attending SGA’s National Brownfields Coalition’s webinar What the BUILD Act Could Build on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. On the webinar, we discussed the …

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Partnership in the News: Reinvent PHX aims for walkability

Pheonix began to see its future a little differently in 2008, when the city began operating a 29-mile light rail line with 28 stations. To take advantage of this new infrastructure, Phoenix focused the city’s growth and giving its residents with what they wanted: more housing and transportation choices.

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Join us for a webinar: What the BUILD Act could build

Harrison Commons in Harrison, NJ. Last month, Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ), Inhofe (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID), and Udall (D-NM) introduced the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013. The legislation would reauthorize EPA’s Brownfields Program, as well as expand …

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