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A unifying and respected voice, the National Brownfields Coalition (NBC) educates, advocates and convenes stakeholders nationally to advance the social, economic, public health and quality of life benefits of cleanup and land reuse for all communities.


Renew the Federal Brownfield Tax Deduction


Before it expired, the federal Brownfield Tax Incentive allowed a party who voluntarily investigated and remediated contaminated property to deduct its cleanup costs in the year incurred on their federal income tax return. By expensing rather than capitalizing remediation costs and spreading out the deduction over ten years, the deduction was a powerful incentive for private investment in the economic revitalization of brownfields. 

In the past, developers used the cash savings from this incentive to invest in their next brownfield project, exactly the behavior needed to accelerate cleanup of the nation’s contaminated sites. 

Our 2015 report showed this deduction dramatically reduced the remediation costs, the largest single expense of taking on a brownfield-by one-third to one-half depending on the combined income tax bracket (federal, state, local) of the party conducting the cleanup. 

The incentive was part of the tax code (IRS § 198) from 1997 through 2011 and was approved by bipartisan Congressional majorities six times. It applied very broadly and was not complicated to use. The deduction was available for cleanup of all contaminated property, except for property proposed or placed on the National Priority List. It was used more than 625 times in more than 40 states and was gaining momentum.

Why do we need it? Read the flyer from the National Brownfields Coalition with further details of the importance of renewing Section 198A.


Upcoming Opportunities

  • There’s still time to apply for T-Mobile’s Hometown Grants! The company is giving away $25 million to small communities over the next five years through hundreds of smaller (~$50k) Hometown Grants for all types of catalytic projects. If you are a local leader of almost any kind (elected, civic, etc), you can nominate your town for a Hometown Grant here. Applications are open April-June 2021; winning towns announced in July 2021.

  • The Georgia Brownfield Association’s seventh Annual Brownfield Seminar will be held virtually June 22-23, 2021 from 9am to 1:30pm EDT. Each year, GBA’s Brownfield Seminar attracts more than 200 of the state and region’s leading development, legal, engineering, risk management, economic development, and other professionals with a shared interest in cleaning and redeveloping contaminated properties and revitalizing surrounding areas around the state. Discover the program and how to register.

  • The 19th National Brownfields Training Conference is taking place in late fall at the Oklahoma City Convention Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Cosponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), this conference is the largest forum of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing formerly utilized commercial and industrial properties. Mark your calendar for the in-person gathering on December 8th-11th, 2021. Visit the Conference website for more information and to register. 

  • Join the Florida Brownfields Association and the Alabama Brownfields Association for the first joint Florida & Alabama Brownfields Conference. This is a unique opportunity to connect with brownfield leaders, visionaries, and stakeholders from two states. The 2021 conference will be held at the Hilton Pensacola Beach on October 24-27, 2021. Learn more and register here.


Updates and Resources

  • Looking inside the Biden administration’s massive and ambitious infrastructure proposal: The President’s infrastructure plan proposes major investments in affordable housing, smart growth, and affordable transportation that better connects us. But similar to what our Transportation for America program wrote last week, “how we target the funding matters as much as how much we spend.” Keep reading.

  • Recordings of the California Land Recycling Conference are now available! CCLR, U.S. EPA, and DTSC created this year’s Conference to address head-on the relationship between redevelopment and the struggles we’re facing in public health, climate change, and racial injustice. Check out the recorded sessions here.

  • Conveying Your Brownfield Story: Hear from three successful Brownfield Programs that have effectively utilized StoryMaps to engage their communities and promote their programs. Organized by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

  • The 2021 Brownfields Conference hosted by the Canadian Brownfields Network took place earlier this week (June 15 and 16, 2021). The 2-day program involved many exciting opportunities for engagement including presentations on case studies, delivery barriers, and technical challenges in addition to the signature HUB Awards, recognizing Canadian individual excellence in brownfields. Learn more on the Canadian Brownfields Network website. 

Join the Movement

 The National Brownfields Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of public interest organizations, academics, as well as public and private sector professionals who develop and advocate for policies and practices that support the responsible cleanup and reuse of underutilized, blighted, or environmentally impacted land. Our mission is to educate, advocate, and convene stakeholders nationally to advance the social, economic, public health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of environmental cleanup and reuse for all communities.

There has never been a better time to be part of the National Brownfields Coalition. Join our passionate team to realize significant gains in legislation, appropriations and policies that revitalize our communities through land reuse. NBC membership at any level offers the opportunity to participate in our five active committees working to achieve our brownfields goals.

Learn more about the Coalition. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Jones Borak at or Jean Hamerman at


The National Brownfields Coalition works to ensure the responsible cleanup and reuse of underutilized, blighted, or environmentally impacted land. A program of Smart Growth America and the Center for Creative Land Recycling.

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