Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5342

February Session, 2012

 

LCO No. 1704

 

*01704_______CE_*

 

Referred to Committee on Commerce

 

Introduced by:

 

(CE)

 

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

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (f) of section 32-9kk of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2012):

(f) (1) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall develop a targeted brownfield development loan program to provide financial assistance in the form of low-interest loans to eligible applicants who are potential brownfield purchasers who have no direct or related liability for the site conditions and eligible applicants who are existing property owners who (A) are currently in good standing and otherwise compliant with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's regulatory programs, (B) demonstrate an inability to fund the investigation and cleanup themselves, and (C) cannot retain or expand jobs due to the costs associated with the investigating and remediating of the contamination.

(2) The commissioner shall provide low-interest loans to eligible applicants who are purchasers or existing property owners pursuant to this section who seek to develop property for purposes of retaining or expanding jobs in the state or for developing affordable housing [to serve the needs of first-time home buyers] units, suitable for first-time home buyers, incentive housing zones, workforce housing and other residential purposes, as approved by the commissioner. Loans shall be available to manufacturing, retail, residential or mixed-use developments, expansions or reuses. The commissioner shall provide loans based upon project merit and viability, the economic and community development opportunity, municipal support, contribution to the community's tax base, number of jobs, past experience of the applicant, compliance history and ability to pay.

(3) Any loan recipient who is a brownfields purchaser and who (A) receives a loan in excess of thirty thousand dollars, or (B) uses loan proceeds to perform a Phase II environmental investigation, shall be subject to section 22a-134a or shall enter a voluntary program for remediation of the property with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Any loan recipient who is an existing property owner shall enter a voluntary program with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

(4) Loans made pursuant to this subsection shall have such terms and conditions and shall be subject to such eligibility, loan approval and criteria, as determined by the commissioner. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, performance requirements and commitments to maintain or retain jobs or provide a specified number of affordable housing units. Loan repayment shall coincide with the restoration of the site to a productive use or the completion of the expansion. Such loans shall be for a period not to exceed twenty years.

(5) If the property is sold before loan repayment, the loan is payable upon closing, with interest, unless the commissioner agrees otherwise. The commissioner may carry the loan forward as an encumbrance to the purchaser with the same terms and conditions as the original loan.

(6) Loans made pursuant to this subsection may be used for any purpose, including the present or past costs of investigation, assessment, remediation, abatement, hazardous materials or waste disposal, long-term groundwater or natural attenuation monitoring, costs associated with an environmental land use restriction, attorneys' fees, planning, engineering and environmental consulting costs, and building and structural issues, including demolition, asbestos abatement, polychlorinated biphenyls removal, contaminated wood or paint removal, and other infrastructure remedial activities.

(7) For any loan made pursuant to this subsection that is greater than fifty thousand dollars, the applicant shall submit a redevelopment plan that describes how the property will be used or reused for commercial, industrial, residential or mixed-use development and how it will result in jobs and private investment in the community. For any residential development loan pursuant to this subsection, the developer shall agree that the development will provide the affordable housing needs reasonable and appropriate for first-time home buyers or for workforce housing or recent college graduates looking to remain in this state.

(8) The loan program established pursuant to this subsection shall be available to all qualified new and existing property owners. Recipients who use loans for commercial, industrial or mixed-use development shall agree to retain or add jobs, during the term of the loan, unless otherwise agreed to by the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Connecticut Development Authority and the Connecticut Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. The residential developer shall agree to retire the loan upon sale of the units unless the development will be apartments.

(9) Each loan recipient pursuant to this subsection may be eligible for up to two million dollars per year for up to two years, subject to agency underwriting and reasonable and customary requirements to assure performance. If additional funds are needed, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may recommend that the project be funded through the State Bond Commission.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2012

32-9kk(f)

Statement of Purpose:

To clarify that targeted brownfield loans may be used for affordable housing projects.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]