July 29, 2013
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing a bill she says will make it easier to redevelop contaminated properties known as brownfields. The legislation comes a few days after a House committee voted to cut funding for brownfield cleanup.
Gillibrand wants to raise the funding cap and allow remediation projects to win multiple grants. A similar program expired in 2006.
Brownfields are former industrial sites that need environmental cleanup. Soil contamination from solvents or metals are a common problem.
Gillibrand says increasing brownfield redevelopment will increase economic development in former industrial areas. "These are the kinds of smart investments that we can make in our communities all across New York to attract new businesses and create new jobs; transforming our former industrial areas into places for New Yorkers to work, play, and raise a family."
About a week ago, the House Appropriations Committee passed an environmental spending plan that would cut funding for brownfield grants.
Syracuse-area congressman Dan Maffei acknowledged the Gillibrand proposal will face a tough fight in the GOP-controlled House despite some bi-partisan support.