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NTC ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY OF 34 NEW BROWNFIELDS
Release Date: 05/13/97
FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1997
Attached are a press release, fact sheet and a statement by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner from Vice President Gore's announcement today of 34 new Brownfields pilot projects and of the Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda. R-73 ###
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
Tuesday, May 13, 1997 Contact: (202) 456-7035
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF BROWNFIELDS INITIATIVE
WASHINGTON-- Vice President Al Gore today (5/13) announced that he was bringing together the resources of more than 15 Federal Agencies as part of the Clinton Administration's new "Brownfields National Partnership."
The Partnership is one part of a three-pronged strategy on Brownfields that the Vice President and senior administration officials announced today. The second part is a new round of Brownfields project grants and the third part is the Vice President's call to Congress to pass the President's Brownfields legislative package.
The Brownfields Partnership builds on the Administration's actions to empower and revitalize America's communities. This expanded effort includes commitments from across the federal government and the private sector to help thousands of communities cleanup and redevelop Brownfields -- abandoned pieces of land, usually in inner cities, that are lightly contaminated from previous industrial use.
"I now call on Congress to do its part by passing the President's Brownfields legislative proposals, including the Brownfields tax incentive," the Vice President said. "Our communities demand it. And our children deserve it."
The Brownfields Partnership -- which includes a $300 million Federal investment in Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment from more than 15 Federal Agencies -- is expected to leverage from $5 billion to $28 billion in private investment, support up to 196,000 jobs, and protect up to 34, 000 acres of undeveloped "greenfield" areas outside of cities.
The Vice President also announced a new round of Brownfields redevelopment pilot project grants to 34 additional communities to spur revitalization in those communities. To date, the Clinton Administration has awarded 113 such pilot projects, totaling nearly $20 million to towns and cities across the country as a seed money to promote Brown fields redevelopment efforts.
The Administration launched the Brownfields initiative in November, 1993 with a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to Cleveland, Ohio so that the state and local officials could help create a model for redeveloping these areas across the country. The Administration has since taken a series of actions, as part of its overall community empowerment efforts, to expand the Brownfields Initiative.
Through today's announcement, the Vice President noted, "I am bringing the resources of the many different Federal Agencies that can make a difference on this issue to the table -- and we will continue to seek out additional partners in this effort." New Federal resources committed include additional job training support funds from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education; new redevelopment and housing funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and start-up funding for the government itself
to review and help bring back to life its own idled Brownfields property holdings.
"But we must do more," the Vice President said, stressing that Congress must pass the President's Brownfields legislative package. This package includes a tax incentive to encourage Brownfields redevelopment. This $2 billion tax incentive, contained in the President's FY 1988 balanced budget plan, is expected to leverage $10 billion in private sector resources.
The Vice President was joined in the press conference by EPA Administrator Carol Browner, Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin, and the Mayor of Dallas, Ronald Kirk.
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION EXPANDS COMMITMENT
TO BROWNFIELDS REDEVELOPMENT
TO BROWNFIELDS REDEVELOPMENT
Vice President Gore today launched an expansion of the Clinton Administration's Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative, building upon the Administration's actions to revitalize America's communities. First, a new Brownfields National Partnership brings a wide array of new federal and private sector resources to help thousands of communities clean up and redevelop brownfields. This ongoing Partnership -- which also builds on the Administration's Community Empowerment Agenda -- will support communities and provide new tools for their use. Second, the latest round of EPA's brownfields redevelopment pilot project grants brings resources to an additional 34 communities to spur revitalization. Third, the Vice President called on Congress to pass the President's brownfields legislative package, which includes a tax incentive to encourage brownfields redevelopment.
1) New Brownfields National Partnership: This new two-year effort includes more than 100
commitments from more than 25 organizations -- including more than 15 federal agencies -- to
further spur cleanup and redevelopment at some 5,000 brownfields sites around the U.S. The
new partnership is expected to result in:
A $300 million federal investment in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, along with
an additional $165 million in loan guarantees to advance community revitalization;
Leveraging from $5 bilion up to $28 billion in private investment to redevelop these
areas and return them to productive community use;
Support up to 196,000 new jobs;
Protection of up to 34,000 acres of undeveloped "greenfield" areas, and quality of life
improvements for up to 18 million Americans living near these communities.
Under the new federal partnership, 15 federal agencies will provide:
Assessment, cleanup and job training funds ($125 million) from EPA; additional job
training support from Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education;
Redevelopment and housing funds ($155 million) and loan guarantees ($165 million)
from the Department of Housing and Urban Development; redevelopment of distressed
areas ($17 million) from the Economic Development Administration; coastal community
revitalization ($900,000) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
surveys to speed federal property development ($1 million) from the General Services
In addition, HHS will work across the Administration to develop a public health policy to protect community residents near brownfields; Department of Treasury will work with Congress on the President's proposal for a $2 billion brownfields tax incentive; and EPA, Department of Justice and the states will collaborate to establish national guidelines for state voluntary cleanups.
To provide models for successful collaboration, the Administration will select 10 Brownfields Showcase Communities to demonstrate importance of cooperation among federal agencies, state and local governments and the private sector in cleaning up and revitalizing brownfields. The Administration will select these sites through a competitive process from among brownfield and empowerment community/enterprise zone sites across the country.
2) New Pilot Grants Provide More Communities with Seed Money to Spur Redevelopment:
Building on the Clinton Administration's efforts since November 1993 to provide seed money to communities seeking to clean up and redevelop brownfields, the Vice President today announced an additional 34 grants of up to $200,000 to national or regional brownfields redevelopment pilot projects. To date, the Clinton Administration has awarded 113 such pilot projects totaling nearly $20 million to communities across the nation to help them restore abandoned industrial sites to new uses that revitalize both the environment and the economy in urban centers and surrounding communities. Each pilot project is expected to serve as a model for other communities to use in removing the barriers to cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields in a variety of settings.
3) A Call to Congress to Pass Brownfields Tax Incentive Legislation: The Vice President called on Congress to pass the President's brownfields legislative package, which includes a tax incentive to encourage brownfields redevelopment. President Clinton's FY 1998 balanced budget plan contains a targeted tax incentive to spur the private sector to clean up and redevelop brownfields in economically distressed rural and urban areas. This $2 billion tax incentive is expected to leverage $10 billion in private sector investment, helping to revitalize some 30,000 brownfields sites. Under the proposal, businesses would be able to expense the costs of cleaning up these properties in the year in which the costs are incurred, rather than capitalizing such costs of the life of the property. This tax proposal will provide significant financial incentives for the private sector to revitalize these areas.
Carol M. Browner
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Remarks Prepared for Delivery
Vice President's Announcement of Brownfields Expansion
The White House
May 13, 1997
Welcome and thank you for coming.
We are delighted to have the Vice President with us today, as well as members of Congress and mayors from cities across the country, to mark another important step toward restoring hope, opportunity and jobs to communities and neighborhoods that are saddled with the presence of old, abandoned industrial sites.
Right from the very start, one of the Clinton-Gore administration's top priorities has been to help cities and communities clean up properties known as "brownfields."
Many of these sites were, at one time, thriving factories -- sources of economic vitality, of jobs, of community pride.
Now, however, they are sources of neighborhood blight and health hazards. As such, they are robbing communities and neighborhoods of the opportunity to share in the nation's economic progress.
These are the sites that aren't contaminated enough to pose a serious public health risk and therefore qualify for Superfund cleanup. But they do contain just enough toxic wastes -- or maybe even just the possibility of contamination -- to frighten off potential developers and other businesses concerned about getting stuck with the responsibility for cleaning up the mistakes of the past.
There are thousands of these brownfields located around the country. I've visited a number of them. I could feel their potential and their promise. Local residents, business and government officials are joining together, looking for ways to turn them around.
We should be helping them any way that we can. And, in fact, we are doing precisely that.
Three-and-a-half years ago, I announced the first Brownfields pilot grant -- to the city of Cleveland. Mr. Vice President, I'm sure you remember those early days of the Brownfields initiative, and all of the promise that it offered. Thanks to your leadership and your vision, that promise has been turned into action.
EPA has removed tens of thousands of individual sites from the national Superfund inventory -- thereby taking away the stigma associated with brownfields sites. We have taken steps to clarify liability limits for prospective purchasers and lenders. We have provided seed money for more than 100 Brownfields pilot projects in cities across the country.
As just one example, in 1995, with an EPA pilot grant of $200,000, the city of Louisville put together a brownfields working group to seek developers for the city's brownfields areas and to help them overcome the obstacles they would face.
These brownfields had become magnets for drugs and crime. Today, their revitalization is bringing new life to the surrounding neighborhoods. The city got the ball rolling with a $1.7 million investment of public funds -- an amount that generated another $7 million in private investment at the two sites. More than 60 permanent jobs have been created. That number is expected to rise to 115. And more commercial development is on the way.
Meanwhile, Louisville is busy targeting another four sites for brownfields redevelopment.
Clearly, this program works. It works for cities. It works for neighborhoods. It works for America.
Signs that warn "danger -- keep out" are giving way to signs of economic progress, new jobs and community revitalization.
And when we encourage the redevelopment of a brownfield, we go a long way toward saving an undeveloped "greenfield" area from the bulldozer.
Today, we take a major step forward -- with an expanded commitment that will mean more resources, more funding and more action on brownfields redevelopment.
In a moment, the Vice President will be telling us about an initiative to put the full force of government behind this successful effort to help revitalize our communities.
But first, let me turn it over to the Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, who has some important words about his department's role in encouraging brownfields redevelopment.