DEEP: State Brownfield Remediation Programs

State Brownfield Remediation and Liability Relief Programs

DEEP and the Department of Economic and Community Developmentís Office of Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment (OBRD) work closely together to provide liability relief and financial assistance for cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfields in Connecticut. Information regarding these programs is provided below.

 
Abandoned Brownfield Cleanup (ABC) Program

Program Highlights:

  • For bona fide prospective purchaser who is not responsible for the pollution associated with the brownfield property and is not affiliated, directly or indirectly, with a person or entity responsible for any such pollution
  • Must apply and be accepted prior to property acquisition
  • Property must be unused or significantly underutilized 5 years prior to enrollment, as determined by DECD
  • Redevelopment must provide regional or municipal benefit
  • No obligation to investigate and remediate off-site, but must eliminate off-site migration of pollution
  • Provides liability relief from State and third parties
  • Exempt from Property Transfer Act
  • Eligible for free Covenant Not to Sue (CGS Section 22a-133aa)
  • Additional details and application forms at the OBRD ABC Program webpage
  • Authorized by CGS Section 32-768
Fees:
(formerly referred to as Section 17)

Program Highlights:
  • For bona fide prospective purchaser, innocent property owner, or contiguous landowner, who is not responsible for the pollution associated with the brownfield property and is not affiliated with a person or entity responsible for any such pollution
  • Must apply and be accepted prior to property acquisition
  • No obligation to investigate and remediate off-site, but must eliminate off-site migration of pollution
  • Must investigate and remediate pollution within site boundaries
  • Provides liability relief from State and third parties
  • Program includes incentives to reduce fee by remediating quickly
  • No fee for municipality, but new owner must pay when acquiring from municipality
  • Exempt from Property Transfer Act
  • Portion verifications allowed if site investigation complete and remediation started
  • Further information and application forms at the OBRD BRRP webpage
  • Authorized by CGS Section 32-769
Fees:
  • Fee is 5% of assessed land value based on most recent grand list
  • Payable in two equal installments
  • BRRP Fee Payment Form

BRRP Presentations:

Municipal Brownfield Liability Relief Program (MBLR)

Program Highlights:

Fees:
  • No fee to apply
MBLR Presentations:
 
 

A Covenant Not to Sue is an agreement between DEEP and a prospective purchaser or property owner of a polluted site that DEEP will not institute a claim against a party who has or will clean up such property.  Two types of Covenants Not to Sue are available.

Benefits for Designated Brownfield Sites

  • Covenants can be approved early in the process as long as DEEP has approved a brownfield investigation plan and remediation schedule. 
  • The Commissioner can approve a fee payment schedule when there is an approved a brownfield investigation plan and remediation schedule.
  • There is no fee for Covenants issued under CGS 22a-133bb, in connection with a remediation project conducted under section Urban Sites Program (CGS 22a-133m) or for Covenants issued to municipalities, municipal economic development agencies, or nonprofit economic development corporations formed to promote the common good, general welfare, and economic development of a municipality that is funded, either directly or through in-kind services, in part by a municipality and such corporation's officers and directors.
Highlights:
  • Agreement that DEEP will not require remediation of previously unknown contamination that is the result of a release that predates the effective date of the Covenant and is determined to exist after the remediation is deemed complete.
  • Available early in the remediation process
  • Property must be remediated in accordance with Remediation Standard Regulations, and any environmental land use restriction necessary to comply with RSRs must be recorded on the land records and must remain in effect.
A 22a-133aa Application must be submitted to DEEP together with
  1. a remedial action plan;
  2. a final remedial action report; or
  3. a brownfield investigation plan and remediation schedule.

Fees:

  • Fee is 3% of property value appraised as if not contaminated,
  • Free for municipalities
  • Transferable for qualifying new owners without an additional fee

Section 22a-133bb:

  • Agreement with DEEP that additional remediation in the future will not be required, even if the remediation standards change after the Covenant is executed
  • Not transferable to new owner
A 22a-133bb Application must be submitted to DEEP together with:
  1. a remedial action plan or
  2. a final remedial action report documenting compliance with the RSRs.
Fees:
  • No fee

Municipal Access Liability Relief

Highlights:

  • Allows any municipality to enter a property to conduct an investigation without liability if:
    • the owner cannot be located
    • the property is encumbered by tax lien
    • a notice of eminent domain has been filed
    • the municipality finds that investigation is in the public interest to determine if the property should be redeveloped, or
    • a municipal official determines that investigation is necessary to assess potential risk to health or the environment.
  • authorized under Section 22a-133dd of the CGS
Targeted Brownfield Remedy (TBR)

Highlights:

TBR Presentation:
Third-party Liability Relief
  • Section 22a-133ee provides that a non-responsible owner is not liable for pollution that occurred or existed prior to the owner taking title, except to the state and federal government. 
  • This requires a DEEP approved investigation report and remediation report (prepared by an LEP).

Innocent Landowners

Sections 22a-452d & 452e of the CGS provide that a property owner is not liable for State actions taken to contain, remove or mitigate a spill, or for certain orders to abate or remediate a spill.  An innocent landowner is:

  • an owner of a property on which a release was caused by an act of God, war, or an act or omission of a third party (not associated with the owner)
  • an owner obtained the property after the release occurred and is not otherwise liable for the release and
    • after performing due diligence, did not know the release occurred and had no reason to know the release occurred,
    • inherited the property or is administering an estate, or
    • is a government entity.
Brownfield Land Banks
 
A Land Bank is a Connecticut nonstock corporation established to acquire, remediate, and sell brownfields for the benefit of municipalities and to educate government officials, community leaders, economic development agencies and nonprofit organizations on best practices for redeveloping brownfields under Public Act 17-214.  Land banks are eligible for brownfield grants and loans.  Land Banks must be certified by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.  Applications are available at www.ctbrownfields.gov.

Additional Information

DEEP's Role in Brownfields Redevelopment - How Can We Help You? (August 2014) (begins on slide 74)

Contact:
Mark Lewis (e-mail)
Brownfield Coordinator
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-3768
 
Content Last Updated November 30, 2017