June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

BIPARTISAN ACTION ON BROWNFIELDS LEGISLATION

WHEREAS, it is estimated that there are more than 500,000 brownfields sites throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, mayors and other local elected officials, and many others have been calling for bipartisan Congressional action on brownfields legislation that provides liability relief for innocent parties, additional resources for cities and other local governments for brownfields site assessments and cleanups, clarification of the relationship between the states and U.S. EPA over decisions affecting these sites, and other related provisions to accelerate local and state efforts to return these sites to productive use; and

WHEREAS, the Conference and its member mayors have been consistent and vocal in seeking bipartisan resolution of these issues, beginning with the 105th Congress; and

WHEREAS, in the 107th Congress, the United States Senate successfully crafted a broadly bipartisan agreement known as the 'Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act of 2001' or S.350, brownfields legislation which garnered more than two-thirds of the Senate as cosponsors and which passed unanimously April 22 on a 99-0 vote; and

WHEREAS, this Senate bipartisan agreement was strongly backed by President Bush, U.S. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and the Bush Administration; and

WHEREAS, in the two months following Senate action, no bipartisan brownfields legislation has been introduced or proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, there is a compelling need for federal legislation to address this chronic and widespread problem before the nation and that the overwhelming Senate Acton, with support from the Bush Administration clearly demonstrates that bipartisan legislative action can be achieved,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the House Leadership of both parties to direct Committee leaders with jurisdiction on these matters to craft a bipartisan brownfields agreement and to do so promptly so that the nation can immediately realize the many positive environmental, economic and social benefits that result from recycling America's land and brownfields particularly; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon President Bush and his Administration to request House Leaders to seek prompt bipartisan action on this importation national legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference urges that the House adopt the Senate-passed legislation (S.350), if ongoing House efforts fail to develop a timely and broad bipartisan agreement on brownfields legislation.