Esty Secures Funding for Brownfields Cleanup and Economic Revitalization in Omnibus Package
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) announced the successful conclusion of weeks of bipartisan negotiations with House and Senate Republicans to include legislation to fund brownfields cleanup and economic revitalization in communities in Connecticut and throughout the country in Congress’s omnibus funding package.
“This is a significant victory for economic revitalization in central and northwestern Connecticut,” Esty said. “If you want to know how this bill will affect the lives of real people, look no further than Waterbury, where the city has been working to clean up and renew plots of land for years, but cost caps limited the city’s availability to secure federal grants. In today’s legislation, we increase funding for brownfields revitalization, increase the amounts for which cities can apply, and make commonsense adjustments to the brownfields program to improve local governments’ flexibility in using the program.
“Time and time again, my constituents tell me that they want to see us put politics aside and get to work growing our economy again – today’s bipartisan agreement on brownfields cleanup does just that. I look forward to working with local leaders throughout the Fifth Congressional District to maximize the changes to this program and help strengthen our communities.”
“The City of Waterbury applauds Congresswoman Esty for her role as a driving force behind the reauthorization of the brownfields redevelopment program,” Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said. “Continued investment in brownfield sites is critical to the future success of post-industrial centers like the City of Waterbury. Every remediated brownfield represents an opportunity to spur economic development, create jobs, and address blight.”
Brownfields sites – which EPA estimates number more than 450,000 nationwide, including an estimated 66 identified properties in central and northwest Connecticut – are often abandoned, closed, or underutilized industrial or commercial facilities. The omnibus package increases funding EPA’s Brownfields Program, $200 million annually for the EPA’s Brownfields Program and an additional $50 million annually for the state response program through 2023, and makes adjustments for multipurpose grants and liability relief.
According to a 2007 study, every acre of brownfields redevelopment creates close to 10 jobs, and every dollar spent through the EPA’s Brownfields Program leverages an average of $18 in outside investment.