THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF BROWNFIELDS INITIATIVE
Vice President Al Gore today (5/13) announced that he was bringing together the resources of more than 15 Federal Agencies as part of the Clinton Administration's new "Brownfields National Partnership."
The Partnership is one part of a three-pronged strategy on Brownfields that the Vice President and senior administration officials announced today. The second part is a new round of Brownfields project grants and the third part is the Vice President's call to Congress to pass the President's Brownfields legislative package.
The Brownfields Partnership builds on the Administration's actions to empower and revitalize America's communities. This expanded effort includes commitments from across the federal government and the private sector to help thousands of communities cleanup and redevelop Brownfields -- abandoned pieces of land, usually in inner cities, that are lightly contaminated from previous industrial use.
"I now call on Congress to do its part by passing the President's Brownfields legislative proposals, including the Brownfields tax incentive," the Vice President said. "Our communities demand it. And our children deserve it."
The Brownfields Partnership -- which includes a $300 million Federal investment in Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment from more than 15 Federal Agencies -- is expected to leverage from $5 billion to $28 billion in private investment, support up to 196,000 jobs, and protect up to 34, 000 acres of undeveloped "greenfield" areas outside of cities.
The Vice President also announced a new round of Brownfields redevelopment pilot project grants to 34 additional communities to spur revitalization in those communities. To date, the Clinton Administration has awarded 113 such pilot projects, totaling nearly $20 million to towns and cities across the country as a seed money to promote Brown fields redevelopment efforts.
The Administration launched the Brownfields initiative in November, 1993 with a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to Cleveland, Ohio so that the state and local officials could help create a model for redeveloping these areas across the country. The Administration has since taken a series of actions, as part of its overall community empowerment efforts, to expand the Brownfields Initiative.
Through today's announcement, the Vice President noted, "I am bringing the resources of the many different Federal Agencies that can make a difference on this issue to the table -- and we will continue to seek out additional partners in this effort." New Federal resources committed include additional job training support funds from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education; new redevelopment and housing funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and start-up funding for the government itself to review and help bring back to life its own idled Brownfields property holdings.
"But we must do more," the Vice President said, stressing that Congress must pass the President's Brownfields legislative package. This package includes a tax incentive to encourage Brownfields redevelopment. This $2 billion tax incentive, contained in the President's FY 1988 balanced budget plan, is expected to leverage $10 billion in private sector resources.
The Vice President was joined in the press conference by EPA Administrator Carol Browner, Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin, and the Mayor of Dallas, Ronald Kirk.