Author Archives: Jeri Mintzer

House subcommittee hearing makes the case to reauthorize EPA Brownfields program

On Wednesday the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing to examine the many benefits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. The program has been funded for the past several years but is not a formally authorized part of the federal budget. Wednesday’s hearing examined whether that should change.

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Bipartisan coalition introduces the Safe Streets Act of 2015


A new bill in the House of Representatives would help communities across the country make streets safer and more convenient for everyone who uses them.

Late yesterday, Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2015 (HR 2071), a bill which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects to use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing, and building roads.

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Get the recap: “Safer Streets, Stronger Economies” webinar and discussion

On Tuesday, the National Complete Streets Coalition released Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, new research that analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. As part of the release the Coalition hosted a panel discussion to discuss the findings, and to highlight communities included in the report. A recording of the webinar is now available.

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Are you a real estate professional under 35?

The future of walkable, sustainable development rests in the hands of the next generation of real estate developers and investors. For a limited time, LOCUS will offer discounted registration for young professionals to attend the LOCUS New England Leadership Summit on March 11, 2015.

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EPA accepting proposals for Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants

texaco-brownfieldThe Double Wide Grill in Pittsburgh, PA was built in a former gas station building with help from the EPA Brownfields Program. Photo by EPA Smart Growth via Flickr.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced three grant programs for 2015 to help clean up land contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.

Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funding for developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfield sites. Individual grants go up to $200,000.

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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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Streetsblog founder Aaron Naparstek on blogs as a tool for local policy change

Aaron Naparstek, founder, on how a blog can elevate transportation and urban planning policies in the civic agenda and make real change in cities across the country. Naparstek makes the case for blogs as a extremely effective tool for …

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Councilmember Jan Marcason on transforming Kansas City, MO’s downtown

Councilmember Jan Marcason talks about turning around Kansas City, Missouri’s downtown after a period of serious decline. “We completely transformed our downtown to become a place where people are interested in working and staying after work to go to some …

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Councilmember Dave Richins on using form based code in Mesa, AZ

Councilmember Dave Richins discusses the ins and outs of form based code – – making development decisions based on how a building aesthetically interacts with the street and the other buildings in the area instead of based on what the …

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