Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Approves Brownfields Reauthorization

The Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve the “Brownfields Enhancement and Environmental Redevelopment and Reauthorization Act of 2017,” a bill to reauthorize and expand the Brownfields program administered by EPA. Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-Ill.) opened the markup by stating, “Cleaning up contaminated sites is a priority for the Administration and the Brownfields Program is great for the economy because grants can be directly leveraged into jobs, additional redevelopment funds, and increased residential and commercial property values. Brownfields funding and cleanup is also critically important to promoting investment in new infrastructure and to better utilizing our existing infrastructure.”
If enacted, the bill would make the following changes to the Brownfields program, among others:

  • Authorizes the program at $200 million per year for FY 2017 - 2021;
  • Authorizes state response grants at $50 million per year for FY 2017 - 2021;
  • Expands the definition of eligible entities to include certain non-profit organizations;
  • Allows eligible entities to use up to 5% of grant money to cover administrative costs; and
  • Allows EPA to make up to $1.5 million available for small community technical assistance grants.

A markup at the full committee level has not yet been scheduled.