WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted in favor of H.R. 3017, the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act. The bill reauthorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) brownfields program through the 2022 Fiscal Year at its current funding level of $250 million per year. It also allows the EPA to provide additional funds to help small, rural and disadvantaged communities prepare for cleanups and access the brownfields program. The bill passed by a vote of 409-8.
“The brownfields program has invested millions of dollars in our communities and has some great success stories,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “There are plenty of sites ready to be cleaned up and repurposed in towns big and small. Whether it’s the John Deere Commons in Moline, the Barber-Colman factory campus in Rockford, or the riverfront in Rock Falls, we’ve seen this program’s positive results across our region. This vote was a no-brainer and will lead directly to economic opportunity for the hardworking families of northwestern and central Illinois.”
Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of the property may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance. Types of brownfields include inactive factories, gas stations, salvage yards, or abandoned warehouses. These sites drive down property values, provide little or no tax revenue, and contribute to community blight. There are estimated to be 450,000 to one million brownfield sites in the United States.
According to the EPA, the brownfields program leverages $16.11 per dollar expended from the federal brownfields program, and creates 8.5 jobs for every $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended.
More information on brownfields in Illinois is available from the Illinois EPA here.
Congresswoman Bustos is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which shares jurisdiction over the brownfields program with the Energy and Commerce Committee.