Washington, DC – Senator James M. Inhofe, Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett before the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health. Inhofe invited Mayor Cornett to testify at today’s oversight hearing on the Brownfields Program.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to welcome Mayor Cornett at today’s hearing,” Senator Inhofe said. “For nearly 20 years, Oklahoma City has succeeded in transforming numerous brownfields sites into treasured community spaces. Brownfield funds made possible the redevelopment of areas in downtown and Bricktown; the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, celebrating its centennial this week, the Dell Center, and Bricktown Canal are nationally-recognized success stories.
“This re-investment has in turn strengthened Oklahoma City’s economy and contributed to reducing the unemployment rate to 5 percent – the lowest in the nation. The Oklahoma City program has done an exemplary job in redeveloping brownfields sites.”
The Oklahoma City Brownfields Program is highly successful and well-recognized. It is the recipient of two Region 6 Phoenix awards for Brownfields redevelopment and a national Brownfields Renewal Award.
Following the hearing, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett extended his gratitude to Senator Inhofe.
“I thank Senator Inhofe for the opportunity to come to before the committee and share the successes Oklahoma City has had with the EPA Brownfields programs and grant funds,” Mayor Cornett said. “We’ve been able to use these programs to leverage private sector funding, create jobs, and make improvements in our community. Senator Inhofe has been a great friend to Oklahoma City through the years and has always been very supportive of our efforts.”
Highlights from Cornett’s testimony:
“[Nationally,] 150 cities have successfully redeveloped nearly 2,100 sites, comprising more than 18,000 acres of land. And there are over 1,200 sites comprising of another 15,000 acres that are in the process of being redeveloped. 106 cities reported that 187,000 jobs have already been created through the redevelopment of brownfield properties with 71,000 jobs in the pre-development stage and 116,000 permanent jobs.
“This new development has also resulted in an increase in tax revenues at the local, state, and federal level. 62 cities reported that their actual tax revenues from redeveloped brownfields sites totaled over $408 million with an estimate of potential revenues ranging from $1.3 - $3.8 billion.
“Brownfields redevelopment is such a win-win for everyone involved. It creates jobs, it cleans up the environment, and it’s pro-business and pro-community.”