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Through public-private partnerships, Federal grants and incentives, the Bush Administration has made much progress in cleaning and restoring polluted lands. The President worked with Congress to enact historic, bipartisan brownfields reform legislation that provides State and local governments greater abilities and resources to turn environmental eyesores into productive community assets, creating jobs and billions of dollars in economic revitalization in urban areas.
Reclaiming America's Brownfields
"All of us have a responsibility to be the stewards of our land. When we use the land, we must do so wisely and responsibly, balancing the needs of the environment with the best interests of those who live and work on the land. The law I sign today addresses the problem of land which has already been developed, and then abandoned. American cities have many such eyesores-anywhere from 500,000 to a million brownfields are across our nation. These areas once supported manufacturing and commerce, and now lie empty-adding nothing of value to the community, and sometimes only causing problems. ... Environmental protection and economic growth can go on together. It is possible for the two to exist, if we're wise about public policy. And the law that I'm about to sign is good public policy. It's got a lot of common sense in it. It's wise. It encourages growth. It fosters the environment. It is the best-it shows what can-it is the best of Washington, when people decide to cooperate, not bicker, when people put the national interests ahead of political interests."
President George W. Bush
Fulfilling a campaign pledge, President Bush worked with Congress to enact historic, bipartisan brownfields reform legislation that he signed on January 11, 2002. The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act gives State and local governments greater flexibility and resources to turn environmental eyesores into productive community assets, significantly increasing the pace of brownfields cleanups. President Bush's FY 2005 budget proposal includes $210 million for brownfields cleanup, a $40 million (24 percent) increase over the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations legislation level. The funding includes an increase for grants and loans to fund cleanup of lightly contaminated sites. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Trust for Public Land, and others have endorsed the Administration's brownfields proposal.
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