The House of Representatives awarded its approval on Tuesday to legislation sponsored by State Rep. Chip Brown, R – Hollinger’s Island, that expands Alabama’s economic development opportunities by offering liability protections for those who redevelop Brownfield sites in various regions of the state.
“Because of Alabama’s tremendous success in attracting new businesses, we are experiencing a shortage of sites that are currently suitable for industrial development and expansion,” Brown said. “By allowing for the redevelopment of Brownfield sites scattered across the state, we can expand the number of sites that economic developers and recruiters can offer to prospects while, at the same time, addressing past environmental damage that occurred.”
Brownfield sites designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency include lands that were formerly used for commercial and industrial purposes, such as closed gas stations, dry cleaning establishments, and metal plating facilities, as well as abandoned factories and landfills.
The sites falling under the classification suffered environmental damage during their use or contain remnants of hazardous materials that must be cleaned up and remediated before they can be reused and developed.
Brown’s bill creates Brownfield redevelopment districts that allow environmental cleanup efforts to take place, and it provides liability protections to those who wish to participate in the program.
Once a Brownfield area is fully restored, it can be marketed to industrial prospects and site selectors looking to locate in Alabama.
House Bill 378 now travels to the State Senate for consideration.