Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Brownfields Reauthorization and Disaster Assistance Bills
Washington, DC – The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today marked up bills to promote economic development in communities across the country and improve federal disaster assistance and mitigation programs, including H.R. 1758, the “Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2017.”
Brownfields are properties where contamination is suspected, but unknown. Fear of environmental liability at these sites causes developers to look outside cities, towns, and communities to previously undeveloped properties for new opportunities. This leaves many of these brownfields untouched, driving down property values, contributing to blight, and providing no tax revenue to local communities.
The “Brownfields Reauthorization Act” is critical for community renewal, economic development and environmental restoration because it formally reauthorizes and makes improvements to the brownfields grant and state voluntary cleanup program for fiscal years 2017 to 2022.
“I am pleased that the Committee was able to consider and approve this important legislation, and I commend the bill’s bipartisan sponsors for their efforts to move forward,” said Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “The Brownfields grant program has helped create thousands of jobs since it was established, restored over a million acres of land, and helped previously unused properties start generating tax revenues again.”
The “Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2017” also has broad support from a number of stakeholders and organizations, including:
Click here for more information about H.R. 1758, the “Brownfields Reauthorization Act,” including letters of support from the above organizations.
The Committee also approved bipartisan bills to improve FEMA’s disaster assistance and mitigation programs, including a bill to prohibit FEMA from rescinding disaster assistance payments to individuals three years after being notified of the assistance they are to receive, ensuring that individuals are not penalized long after the fact for receiving inaccurate disaster assistance due to FEMA error; and a bill to require FEMA to issue guidance regarding implementation of certain buy-outs or the acquisition of property for open space as a flood mitigation measure.
The complete list of legislation considered by the Committee today:
More information about today’s markup is available here.