Thanks to the continued commitment of the Commerce Committee, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the Brownfield Working Group and brownfield practitioners within CBIA’s Environmental Policies Council, the legislature is in position to further advance the state's goal of becoming the most attractive place in the country for private-sector investment in revitalizing abandoned, contaminated industrial properties known as brownfields.

With just days left in the 2012 session, lawmakers are poised to approve HB 5342 which will provide improvements to the landmark Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization Program (BRRP) enacted less than a year ago.

Specifically, HB 5342 gives municipalities the ability to nominate properties for the program even when there is no eligible purchaser yet identified for the property.  The bill also:

  • Allows properties currently being investigated or remediated under the state's Property Transfer Act to apply to the program.
  • Gives the DEEP commissioner authority to provide, at his discretion, latitude regarding various timeframes existing under the current law.
  • Strengthens the Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development within DECD.

All of these measures will help attract more redevelopment capital to Connecticut.

In addition, and very importantly, the DEEP has a huge opportunity over the next several months when it will be reviewing and revising its dated and cumbersome environmental cleanup laws and regulations.

<p> CBIA is hopeful DEEP will do so in a way that aligns well with the innovative, self-implementing and market-oriented approach of the BRRP.  We are confident the agency’s staff is motivated to value action over smothering control, and will embrace policies, standards and regulations that promote environmental improvement based on reasonable risk, and a focus on job creation.

If so, DEEP could be on the threshold of stimulating a new era of environmental and economic prosperity, especially in our cities.

CBIA appreciates the efforts of its members, the legislature and all the executive agencies and stakeholders working to achieve this goal and we urge lawmakers to support HB 5342.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.