Costa Joins Bipartisan Efforts to Continue and Strengthen Environmental Clean-up Program
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3017, the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017 with a vote of 409 to 8. If enacted, the bill will expand and increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program, which provides grants for the clean-up and revitalization of properties polluted by industrial and other types of contaminants. The Brownfields Program has broad support as it works to clean up contaminated properties, helps make polluted and rundown land usable again, and often relieves pressure to develop pristine open land by providing the newly-usable land as a safe and viable alternative.
“The Brownfields Program has a track record of success, both in our San Joaquin Valley and across the U.S.,” said Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who supports the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017. “In my district alone, we have 34 properties the program has helped to revitalize in Chowchilla, Fresno, Gustine, Livingston, Madera, and Merced, with Castle Air Force Base being perhaps the most notable. Castle Air Force Base was so contaminated with facility waste and hazardous chemicals it was designated a Superfund site, and now, thanks to the Brownfields Program, we have cleaned up the waste and chemicals and have 2,777 acres of clean, usable land. This program is widely supported by local and state governments, environmental and industry groups throughout the country, and Republicans and Democrats alike, so I hope the Senate passes this bill and we can see it signed into law soon.”
As of October 1, 2017, the Brownfields Program has made over 69,000 acres of land usable again. The legislation has strong bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously in support of the bill in June.