Inhofe Praises Grant to Clean Up Contaminated Properties in Tulsa
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today praised the City of Tulsa for being awarded $300,000 in supplement funding under the Brownfields program, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to assist local communities with cleaning up contaminated brownfield properties.
“The City of Tulsa, and the state as a whole, has been a leader in utilizing the Brownfields program to revive contaminated properties and turning these locations into economic contributors and job creators,” Inhofe said. “We have seen firsthand the benefits of this program from the BOK Center, ONEOK Field and the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa and the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. Reauthorizing the Brownfields program has been a key priority of mine as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This year, my legislation to reauthorize this program includes key reforms that expand the benefits of the Brownfields program to rural communities and tribes. Most recently, this bipartisan legislation received unanimous support from the Senate, and I am hopeful Congress is on the cusp of sending the BUILD Act to the president’s desk. This new grant to Tulsa further proves how critical these programs are to communities in Oklahoma to clean up environmental contamination and open doors for economic opportunity."
On June 28, S.1479, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act) passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
On May 18, the BUILD Act was reported out of the EPW Committee by voice vote.
On Feb. 2, the BUILD Act was adopted as an amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012) which passed the Senate on April 20 and is currently being conferenced with the House. This amendment would also make several enhancements, including (1) prioritizing technical assistance grants for Brownfields projects in small communities, rural areas, and disadvantaged areas, (2) establishing a program to provide grants to locate clean energy projects at Brownfields sites, and (3) expanding funding eligibility for governmental entities that did not cause or contribute to the contamination. This amendment is based on S. 1479, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which is sponsored by Inhofe, Markey, Booker, and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), along with Sens. Chris Murphy (D- Conn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).
On June 2, 2015, Inhofe along with Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), ranking member on the EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight, led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing S. 1479, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development Act (BUILD Act). The legislation would make several enhancements to the program, including (1) prioritizing technical assistance grants for Brownfields projects in small communities, Indian tribes, rural areas, and disadvantaged areas, (2) establishing a program to provide grants to locate clean energy projects at Brownfields sites, and (3) expanding funding eligibility for governmental entities that did not cause or contribute to the contamination.
Senator Inhofe has a long history with the Brownfields Program introducing similar versions of the BUILD Act with the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), along with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Crapo in the 113th Congress and was reported by the EPW committee by voice vote on April 3, 2014.