The House passed a bill Thursday reauthorizing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contaminated site clean-up program.
The bill extends the EPA’s brownfields program through 2022 and authorizes new funding for it. The brownfields program provides grants to cities and states to help them clean up and redevelop contaminated industrial sites.
The EPA’s program and the House’s bill are both popular: Members passed the bill on a 409-8 vote.
“The EPA brownfields program is critical to states and local communities as they address contaminated industrial and commercial properties and return them to productive use,” Rep. John ShimkusJohn Mondy ShimkusDavis passes on bid for governor in Illinois, running for reelection to House GOP ekes out win in return of Congressional Baseball Game Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm MORE (R-Ill.) said.
“Cleaning up these sites is great for the economy because brownfields grants can be directly leveraged into jobs, additional redevelopment funds and increased residential and commercial values,” he said.
The House bill reauthorizes the program until 2022 at $200 million level annually. It authorizes $50 million in annual grants for states and Native American Tribes and it tweaks several aspects of the program, including multipurpose grants and the law's funding caps.
The EPA under Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittUnderstanding the barriers between scientists, the public and the truth Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Trump-era EPA board member sues over firing MORE has aimed to expand and highlight its work on brownfields sites. In March, Pruitt told a group of mayors that he would fight to protect funding for the program even as the Trump administration proposed deep cuts to the agency as a whole.
“This bill is a compromise,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneLawmakers discussing potential compromise to revive drug pricing measure House Democrats announce bill to rein in tech algorithms House Democrats ramp up probe of FDA approval of Alzheimer's drug MORE (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said.
“I would have liked to include more funding for this important program, but I believe this bill will improve the program and bolster the federal investment in cleaning up these sites,” he said.