This legislative session, the Florida Chamber helped pass a bill that simplified the designation of a brownfield through clear and efficient government processes.
“This legislation will serve as a catalyst for significant economic development and voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties in Florida by addressing two key issues that served as impediments to the voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield sites in Florida,” said Florida Brownfields Association President Michael Sznapstajler.
Brownfields, areas of contaminated land that require redevelopment and clean-up, can be a significant element in community revitalization, especially within community redevelopment areas, empowerment zones or other areas.
During the most recent legislative session, the Florida Chamber helped to successfully defeat trial lawyer-friendly language that would have encouraged attorneys to file frivolous lawsuits at the expense of Florida’s taxpayers against brownfield redevelopments.
Thanks in part to our continued efforts; brownfield initiatives have strengthened local economies throughout our state. In fact, a recent report released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows that the Florida Brownfield Redevelopment Program has led to new capital investments of $194 million in 2013.
Other report findings indicate:
- Since inception of the program, 75 contaminated sites have been cleaned up,
- So far, more than 65,000 confirmed and projected direct and indirect jobs have been created, and
- To date, $2.5 billion in capital investment has been made in designated brownfield areas.
“Florida’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program continues to facilitate the successful redevelopment of underutilized areas throughout the state,” said Jorge Caspary, director of DEP’s Division of Waste Management. “This program not only makes it possible to mitigate contaminated sites, but also has created more than 10,000 jobs and stimulates the economy in the process.”