Tag: National Brownfields Coalition

A new push to make brownfield cleanup more affordable

esty-brownfields-bill-2015Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and Mayor Patricia Murphy of New Milford, CT visit New Milford’s Century Brass mill, a brownfield site, in 2014. Photos via The News-Times.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT-5) is fighting hard to reinstate a tax incentive to help cleaning up contaminated land more affordable and more feasible.

Late last month, Esty introduced the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2002), a bill to re-establish the Brownfields Tax Incentive which ended in 2011.

Originally signed into law in 1997 and codified through Section 198(h) of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax code, the Incentive allowed taxpayers to fully deduct the costs of brownfield sites’ environmental cleanup the year the costs were incurred—making the arduous process more affordable for those who take it on.

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Become a 2015 sponsor of the National Brownfields Coalition

Smart Growth America’s National Brownfields Coalition is the only national campaign dedicated to advocating for brownfields cleanup and redevelopment in Washington today. We encourage members of Congress and the Administration to support legislation and direct investment in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment.

Brownfields cleanup is a win-win-win-win: it creates jobs, spurs broader economic revitalization, helps people lead healthier lives, and protects the environment—all for a modest public investment. That’s something legislators on both sides of the aisle and from every state can get behind.

Made up of over 6,000 elected officials, professionals, business leaders, and advocates, the National Brownfields Coalition is the leading voice uniting the brownfields movement. We are proud to be at the forefront of this important national movement, and we welcome new allies to join our work.

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

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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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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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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Join Smart Growth America for two events during the National Brownfields Conference

Brownfields conference banner

The National Brownfields Conference is the largest event in the country that focuses on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment of contaminated land. This year’s conference will be held May 15-17, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, and Smart Growth America is hosting two events for conference participants.

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Smart Growth America’s Top 12 of 2012: Growing our coalition

The Fairborn-CEMEX town plant redevelopment is one of hundreds of brownfield sites across the country. Photo by the Ohio Office of Redevelopment, via Flickr.

We’re doing a special blog series highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the fifth of twelve installments.

In 2012 Smart Growth America welcomed two major new programs to our advocacy work.

In February, we announced a new alliance with the National Brownfields Coalition. The National Brownfields Coalition, now a program of Smart Growth America, seeks to raise awareness about the economic benefits of transforming vacant brownfields into thriving neighborhoods. The Coalition brought with it expertise on federal policies that promote brownfield revitalization and sustainable development have helped us pursue public policies aimed at reinvigorating neighborhoods across the country.

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