Brownfields in Connecticut
A brownfield is defined by Connecticut General Statutes §32-760 as “any abandoned or underutilized site where redevelopment, reuse or expansion has not occurred due to the presence or potential presence of pollution in the buildings, soil or groundwater that requires investigation or remediation before or in conjunction with the restoration, redevelopment, reuse and expansion of the property.”
The CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development (OBRD) is welcoming applications for grant funding under the following programs:
• Municipal Grant (Assessment-Only) Program (due April 22, 2022)
• Brownfield Area-wide Revitalization Planning Grant Program (due June 17, 2022)
Sites, once used for industrial, manufacturing, or commercial uses, were abandoned or underutilized due to known or suspected contamination from past uses. Unknown environmental liabilities were preventing communities, developers and investors from restoring these properties to productive use and revitalizing impacted neighborhoods.
Connecticut’s state remediation programs and standards promote the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields and other contaminated sites. The Connecticut Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs) establish standards for the cleanup of contaminated sites including brownfields. The Voluntary Remediation Program, Property Transfer Program, and various brownfields liability relief programs provide a mechanism by which property owners can assess environmental conditions at their properties and ensure that cleanups will meet state standards. In some cases, funding for State Brownfield Programs may be available to assist with assessment and/or remediation of Brownfield sites. The State offers a number of liability relief programs that limit the liability of non-responsible owners or prospective purchasers who make a good faith effort to remediate and redevelop brownfields.
The Connecticut Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development (OBRD), in the Department of Economic and Community Development, provides financing and technical resources for cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfields. OBRD works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DEEP, the Office of Policy & Management (OPM), the Department of Housing, the Department of Transportation and other organizations. These agencies have formed a strong partnership to promote remediation and redevelopment of brownfields.Redevelopment of brownfield sites has social and economic benefits, as well as benefits to human health and the environment, such as:
reducing or eliminating public exposure to pollutants,
cleaning up sites that otherwise would not be cleaned up for decades,
reducing environmental impacts associated with industrial sprawl by returning abandoned and underutilized sites to productive use,
creating the potential for new tax revenue for municipalities and the State,
utilizing existing infrastructure, thereby minimizing the expansion of new infrastructure into undeveloped areas,
reversing urban decay and revitalizing our cities, and
creating short-term construction and longer-term jobs.
Content Last Updated March 1, 2022