Commerce Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5342

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE STATE'S BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND DEVELOPMENT STATUTES.

Vote Date:

3/27/2012

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/6/2012

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Commerce Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill makes many changes to the state's Brownfield remediation and development programs.

● Regarding DECD's Brownfield financial assistance program:

Specifies that housing developments funded under the program must provide

affordable units.

Allows DECD to:

● Forgive loans made to municipalities and other economic development agencies

● Use the program funds to market the program and develop its website

Regarding the liability protection program:

Extends from five to eight years the maximum time allowed to complete a project under the required Brownfield investigation plan and schedule

Requires the DECD commissioner to review applications based on the statewide portfolio factors based on a threshold number of applications she receives in a specified time period

Specifies a procedure for municipalities to nominate property for the program

Extends the deadlines for paying application fees and allows the revenue to be used to fund DECD's Brownfield loan and grant program or remediating contamination spreading off site.

● Requires DECD, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, to identify abandoned and underused mills that are important assets to the municipality or its region

● Extends the Brownfield working grouping until January 15, 2013

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Helen Rosenberg, Office of Economic Development, City of New Haven: Supports HB-5340. This bill will expand the eligibility for Brownfield loans to include projects that produce affordable housing suitable for first-time home buyers, incentive housing zones, workforce housing and other residential purposes.

Donna Hamzy, Legislative Associate, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities: Supports HB-5342 This would provide targeted Brownfield loans for affordable housing projects. This will provide low-interest loans to Brownfield landowners and redevelopers for this purpose will ease the pressure to utilize “Greenfields” for the next building project.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Per above Testimony

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Lori Musco

Date: March 28, 2012