The U.S. House of Representative’s version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the economic stimulus plan includes A number of programs directed toward the redevelopment of Brownfield sites.Â The specific direction of these funds includes:
â€¢ Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup: $800 million to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment. EPA has 1,255 sites on its National Priority List, selected based on a hazard ranking system. There are many Superfund sites ready for construction, but not funded due to budget shortfalls and over 600 sites with ongoing construction that could be accelerated.
â€¢ Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: $200 million for enforcement and cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks at approximately 1,600 additional sites. There are an estimated 116,000 sites with the potential to contaminate important water supplies.
â€¢ Closed Military Bases: $300 million for cleanup activities at closed military installations allowing local communities to redevelop these properties for productive use. The Department estimates that there is a $3.5 billion environmental cleanup backlog at bases closed during previous BRAC rounds.
â€¢ Brownfields: $100 million for competitive grants for evaluation and cleanup of former industrial and commercial sites – turning them from problem properties to productive community use. Last year EPA was only able to fund 37% of Brownfields applications.
Federal, state and Local programs are already in place to receive these funds and have been lacking funding for some time now.Â I would expect that the revitalization of these programs and this influx of funding will go a long way to making many redevelopment projects on impacted properties pencil out a lot more often. Â These programs could also help alleviate some of the funding issues associated with obtaining a loan on impacted or Brownfield properties, whether that loan is for a purchase, a bridge loan, or a construction loan.
Additionally, a “Buy American” policy requires that iron and steel used in construction and repair projects funded under the bill be produced in the United States unless found to be prohibitively expensive.