Brownfields Cleanup Hearing
March 4, 1997
Opening Statement by Senator Wayne Allard

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'm looking forward to today's hearing on brownfields and the positive economic and environmental impact that cleaning up these sites could have for Colorado and other states. Specifically, I want to mention Colorado because in my state leaving these sites abandoned can have a disproportionate impact on individuals who live miles from a brownfield.

One of the unique aspects of Colorado, particularly the front range, is that cities are broken up by green space. Unfortunately, one of the challenges Coloradans face is growth pressure for both residential homes and new businesses that lead to development of green space. In fact, when Coloradans are asked what their major concerns are, growth always ranks near the top. To protect from this the state runs a program to buy open space for preservation called Great Outdoors Colorado. GOCO, as it is called, spends hundreds of millions preserving green space from development. Further, in last year's Farm Bill Congress authorized $35 million to preserve farmland threatened by urban sprawl.

Unfortunately, the Federal Government doesn't always help in terms of providing policies that could be characterized as preservation friendly. Superfund, and the liability hammer it carries, is but one good example. Because of the fear of liability, sites that otherwise could be cleaned up and redeveloped are left empty and new industrial development occurs elsewhere.

Mr. Chairman, with respect to brownfields I'm pleased to be a cosponsor of your legislation. I think if we can get Federal agencies out of the way states, will be able to clean-up brownfield sites to a satisfactory level. Thank you.