Wednesday, September 16, 2015
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is now accepting applications for a new grant program designed to help communities develop implementation plans for remediating and redeveloping clusters of brownfield sites.
The Brownfield Area-Wide Revitalization (BAR) Planning Grant Program is a two-year, $1 million pilot program that was created by a unanimous vote in both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Malloy this summer. It is modeled after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Area-Wide Planning Grant program.
Under Governor Malloy over just the past several years, there has been more than $130 million of state investment towards brownfield remediation, up from less than $10 million under the previous administration. For context, since 1995, the Federal Environmental protection agency has invested $190 million across the entire country. Connecticut currently has more than 100 projects in all corners of the state.
"We are redeveloping like never before - because it's good for jobs, good for the economy, and good for communities. We need to take the areas that have become blighted over time in the past and repurpose them for the future. That's why encouraging comprehensive, strategic planning around brownfield remediation is so important," Governor Malloy said. "We created this new program to help municipalities, economic development agencies, and regional councils of government transform these liabilities into engines of economic and job growth and community revitalization."
The BAR program encourages communities to consider areas such as neighborhoods, downtowns, waterfront districts, or other sections with multiple brownfields and develop strategies to assess, clean up, and reuse the parcels for businesses, housing, and public amenities that will generate jobs and revenues and revitalize the entire area. The program will allow local governments to create long-range plans for the prioritization of multiple sites.
"What's different about the BAR program is that it broadens the focus of our brownfields programs by adding a more comprehensive, area-wide, big picture view for multiple brownfield sites," DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said. "Applicants will develop specific plans and implementation strategies for assessing specific brownfield sites, as well as overarching revitalization goals for the designated BAR planning area."
"Brownfields Area Revitalization grants are an investment that will allow communities burdened by contaminated properties to consider the best way to turn them into community assets," Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said. "These grants will provide an incentive for our cities and towns to look beyond the cleanup of a specific site - to carefully consider how multiple sites in a given area can be put back into reuse in a way that best benefits the surrounding neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to work with DECD, our cities and towns, and other government and private sector partners to make this new grant program a success and to build on Connecticut's role as a national leader in brownfield redevelopment."
"Under Governor Malloy's leadership, Connecticut has become a national leader in the revitalization of brownfields, with more than $138 million invested since FY2012," DECD Deputy Commissioner Tim Sullivan said. "With this new program, Connecticut's cities and towns will have another tool to develop comprehensive plans to advance priority sites that can unlock investment and job creation across the state."
BAR project areas can either be already designated areas such as a neighborhood, district, corridor, downtown, or waterfront zone - all with multiple brownfields - or an area newly defined by the applicant with multiple brownfield sites connected by blighted conditions, shared infrastructure, and other economic, social or environmental considerations.
The pilot planning funding round, initially capitalized with $1 million, is open to municipalities, economic development agencies, and regional councils of government. Grants of up to $200,000 will be awarded competitively to eligible applicants. Eligible uses of funds include, but are not limited to, community visioning processes, market studies, mapping, inventory, infrastructure and streetscape planning, and conceptual designs.
DECD will hold two informational sessions on for applicants to seek further information prior to the November 16 deadline. The informational sessions will be held on:
To learn more the program and access the application and Ranking and Review grid that will be used to evaluate applications, please visit www.ctbrownfields.gov.