WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), today announced the following endorsements from Oklahoma leaders for S. 1479, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act):
“On behalf of the City of Tulsa, thank you Senator Jim Inhofe for keeping the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields program as a priority for funding in Congress this year through the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act),” said Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. “Tulsa has benefited from EPA Brownfields grants in the past few years, helping us to identify Brownfield sites with redevelopment potential and to begin assessment and remediation processes for these sites. This includes a grant awarded in 2013, part of which we are using to clean up a City-owned site currently accepting development proposals. And earlier this year, we used remaining funds from our Areawide Planning Grant awarded in 2010 to complete environmental assessments at the historic Tulsa Club building. Tulsa is using Brownfields grants to move our city forward to continued growth through targeted economic development.”
“Like many Midwestern cities, much of the land around our downtown business core in the last century was home to manufacturing, salvage and oil-and-gas operations,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “Today, this is prime property that, with the help of Brownfields grants, can be restored and put to better use. In Oklahoma City, for example, the program has enabled us to leverage Brownfields properties to create new, 21st Century jobs and enhance the quality of life for our residents with a new urban park.”
“We want to thank Sen. Inhofe and his staff for introducing the Brownfields Reauthorization Act,” said Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Scott Thompson. “The Brownfields Program is the cornerstone for helping revitalize blighted properties and return them to productive use. In addition, the program has been instrumental in helping to invigorate local economies.”
n June 2, Inhofe and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), ranking member on the Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee for EPW, lead a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the BUILD Act. The Brownfields program, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and enjoys strong bipartisan support, provides grants and technical assistance to states, local governments, tribes, and redevelopment agencies to support the assessment, cleanup, and reuse of Brownfield sites. Among other things, the BUILD Act would provide funding for technical assistance grants to small communities and rural areas, expand the scope of eligible grant recipients to include non-profit community groups, and authorize funding for multi-purpose grants to tackle more complex sites.