Tag: Senate

Senate Appropriations Committee Marks Up FY15 THUD Bill

Yesterday, the Senate FY15 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 29-1 vote. The bill proposes funding levels for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other related agencies for fiscal year 2015.

This comes on the heels of the House Appropriations Committee passing their version last month. Overall, the Senate bill would provide $54.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for THUD agencies, as opposed to the $52 billion from the House bill. Despite the funding differences between the two bills, the final funding decisions will likely be determined in an omnibus appropriations package later this year.

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LOCUS Applauds Inclusion of TOD Financing in Draft Senate Transportation Bill

Yesterday, Senate EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (LA) released a draft bipartisan six-year, transportation reauthorization.

For the first time, the bill includes a transit-oriented development (TOD) financing provision that LOCUS has strongly supported. As proposed, the TOD financing provisions provide local communities the tools needed to leverage greater private sector investment and economic development around public transportation through the highly successful TIFIA program.

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New Senate bill would make America’s streets safer and more accessible

Kailua, HIStudents in Kailua, HI, walk along a street with Complete Streets features. A new bill in the Senate would require Complete Streets considerations for federal projects. Photo via Charlier Associates.

Whether you walk, bike, drive or take transit, Complete Streets policies help make sure you travel safely and conveniently, and a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would encourage every community in the country to use these strategies.

On Friday, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing and building roads to accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.

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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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Geoff Anderson to testify before Congress today in favor of a crucial tool for redeveloping contaminated and abandoned land


Yards Park in Washington, DC was built on the site of a former brownfield. Photo via Flickr.

Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, will testify before Congress this afternoon in favor of the BUILD Act, a bipartisan plan for helping communities clean up old brownfields (polluted former industrial sites) and abandoned land, and return them to productive use for communities across the country.

The testimony will be before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee at 2:00 PM today, as part of a hearing titled “Cleaning Up and Restoring Communities for Economic Revitalization.” The hearing will likely be viewable online as a stream. for a link on the Committee’s website later this afternoon.

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Geoff Anderson to testify before Senate EPW committee on brownfields and the BUILD Act

hearing

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works next week to discuss the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act.

If passed, the bill would help communities across the country clean up contaminated and abandoned land and put it back into productive use.

“The BUILD Act is a win for everyone—Congress, local governments, business owners and taxpayers,” said Anderson in March, when the bill was introduced. “Brownfields restoration drives economic growth while giving local governments the flexibility to pursue the projects they need the most. Transforming a community’s financial sinkhole into a new business or residential building is a no-brainer.”

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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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Senators and Representatives sign on to letter supporting the Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Senator Reed
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, is one of the recipients of this week’s letters. Photo via the Committee on Appropriations.

Last month we asked smart growth advocates to speak out in support of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Hundreds of supporters sent letters to their members of Congress, and Congress listened.

If you were one of the many people who sent letters to your members of Congress, thank you. Your voice was heard and Congress is taking action to support these important programs. In total, 29 members of Congress signed letters championing better development programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in fiscal year 2014′s budget.

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What could we do with an extra 4,570 square miles?

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Railyards project turned an abandoned rail depot into a shopping, dining and event space destination.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Mayo Hotel turned a deteriorating building into luxury accommodations and loft apartments in the heart of downtown.

These are just some of the ways cities have redeveloped brownfield sites — contaminated land which takes up an estimated 4,570 square miles in the United States.

Earlier this month four senators introduced a bill that would give communities crucial tools to clean up and reuse this land. Now we need your help to see this bill through.

Voice your support for the BUILD Act: send a message to your senators now.

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013 would help towns and cities across the country clean up brownfield sites and put them back into productive use.

Brownfields redevelopment creates great places on land that was once unusable, and the BUILD Act would give communities a crucial tool to reinvest in their neighborhoods.

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Details of the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013, introduced today by Senators Lautenberg, Inhofe, Udall and Crapo, would improve the way the federal government supports brownfields redevelopment in the United States. Here’s how.

The Act reauthorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program, and improves the program’s ability to support local economic development. If passed, the bill would modernize and improve key elements of the program, and would provide additional tools and resources to communities working to redevelop brownfields. It makes a number of improvements recommended by the National Brownfields Coalition, which is comprised of a broad set of stakeholders, including local governments, developers, and community redevelopment organizations.

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