In a nutshell, the Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2023 reauthorizes the Brownfields Program through Fiscal Year 2029 and makes the program more accessible to small and disadvantaged communities. The legislation does so by reducing financial barriers to participation and by encouraging greater community participation in decision-making processes. The following are highlights:
Removes the statutorily imposed 5% cap on administrative costs, providing grantees greater flexibility to manage their administrative burdens while aligning the Brownfields Program with other EPA grant authorities. This action also enables smaller communities to more effectively compete with larger government entities, which typically have greater budgetary resources to absorb the overhead costs associated with applying for and complying with grants.
Reduces the overall cost-share requirement from 20% to 10% while exempting small and disadvantaged communities from cost-shares entirely;
Amends the competitive grant’s ranking criteria to incentivize grant applicants to engage with local groups and organizations meaningfully;
Increases the amount that the EPA can award for each contaminated site to account for increased costs for assessment, cleanups, and technical training; and,
Increases the funding authorization for state cleanup programs to $75 million annually by Fiscal Year 2029.