Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Announces Progress on Release-Based Cleanup Program To Spur Remediation of Blighted Properties

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes, and Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Interim Commissioner Dan O’Keefe today announced progress on the development of release-based cleanup regulations that will streamline the remediation and redevelopment of blighted properties impacted by pollution from past industrial uses.

The development of these regulations are part of a legislatively authorized overhaul of the Transfer Act, the state’s framework governing the cleanup of contaminated sites. More than 3,000 properties have entered into the Transfer Act program since the 1980s, however less than 400 have been remediated. Timely adoption of the release-based framework will align Connecticut’s regulatory environment with the approach used in 48 other states, allowing for faster, owner-initiated cleanups that will address longstanding pollution and bring blighted properties back to productive reuse.

The regulations are being developed by DEEP in collaboration with DECD and a legislatively-led stakeholder working group. The next steps in their development include a public comment period and then finalization of the regulations with the goal of approval early next year. Timely completion of the regulations is one of several goals DEEP is announcing as part of its new 20By26 initiative, setting 20 goals to meet by the end of 2026 that improve the transparency, predictability, and efficiency of the DEEP regulatory process.

“The Transfer Act is a relic of the past, and that’s where it belongs,” Governor Lamont said. “We should be celebrated for our industrial past, not penalized by it. DEEP and DECD have done the hard work over the past three years engaging with industry experts to develop these draft regulations that will unlock these properties and spur redevelopment in our communities. We’re almost there, and now we need to get this done for our communities.”

“I’m appreciative of the thousands of hours spent by DEEP and DECD staff, and industry experts in our working group, to gather and provide input to inform these regulations,” Commissioner Dykes said. “Successful adoption of these regulations is a top priority for both DEEP and DECD, as evidenced by our making it our number one goal of DEEP’s 20By26 initiative. As we continue through this process, DEEP will continue to engage collaboratively and transparently with the working group and the public in hopes of securing timely approval in 2025 and finally sunsetting the Transfer Act.”

“Businesses in the state are looking for predictability and stability,” Interim Commissioner O’Keefe said. “That is the backdrop against which one can invest in the future and that is what moving away from the Transfer Act does. It gives businesses the confidence to know they can invest in a more predictable regulatory environment. We at DECD are excited to support this any way we can.”

DEEP’s 20By26 initiative builds on the foundation and successes of its earlier 20By20 initiative. Under that initiative, DEEP cut the pre-2017 permit backlog by 65%; established completion timeframes for all DEEP permit processes; created a popular permitting concierge service; deployed online tools to render instantaneous decisions for certain endangered species reviews; enacted a regulation that eliminated reporting requirements for de minimis spills; and digitized thousands of frequently requested documents to speed access to critical data.

With 20By26, DEEP is announcing 16 performance goals, and inviting the public to nominate four additional goals by May 1, 2024, for a total of 20 goals to be completed by the end of 2026. Suggestions for the four additional goals can be emailed to The 16 goals announced today seek to take actionable steps to better connect Connecticut residents to DEEP’s work advancing clean energy and environmental protection; increase the quality and amount of information shared about DEEP’s wide-ranging services; increase the predictability of actions and benefits to business, the economy, and residents; meet equity and inclusion commitments for Connecticut’s underserved and disadvantaged communities; and increase efficiencies.

“Among our goals with 20By26, we seek to drive environmental and economic benefits by improving the process of cleaning up polluted properties in our state, to improve the timely delivery of the over 125 permit types we issue, to provide better access to compliance assistance and other support for municipalities and the regulated community, to collaboratively implement recent environmental justice reforms into our regulations, to continue online service improvements, and to strengthen our stakeholder engagement efforts,” Commissioner Dykes said. “We look forward to engaging with the public to develop our final goals for this initiative, and to share our progress over the next year-plus.”

For more information on the 20By26 initiative, visit

**Download: Draft of DEEP’s release-based cleanup regulations

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont