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 "Air Quality Gains from Brownfields Projects"-

By Charlotte Mayor Patrck McCrory

At the "Brownfields '99" Conference in Dallas, Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory, who chairs the Conference's Energy and Environment Committee, led a session examining how brownfields redevelopment can help advance clean air objectives. "We need to encourage regional approaches to solve the air problem and we should get air credits for doing brownfields redevelopment given the many positive benefits to be secured from recycling these properties," he said.

He also cited public transportation and its value in advancing clean air objectives. Noting how his region's new percent sales tax will deliver $50 million annually for public transit investment (i.e. new light rail system, busways and other improvements) as part of the region's integrated transit-land use plan, McCrory said "this level of effort should be recognized more fully under the Clean Air Act."

McCrory explained that brownfields redevelopment, transit investment and other steps that encourage people to live in existing and generally higher density areas, rather than sprawl development, are not fully considered in current federal policies.

Chicago's Environmental Commissioner Bill Abolt explained how Mayor Richard M. Daley had initiated a Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, comprised of 270 municipalities in the region, to develop best practices to improve attainment of air standards. This region, he noted, is seeking air credits for these actions to support future economic development in the region.

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