What To Do About Contaminated Sites

Oh, those abandoned factories. Bridgeport isn’t alone when it comes to contaminated industrial sites, according to a Brownfield Remediation report. See the list here.

From the report:

How does contamination discourage redevelopment?

Redeveloping property is often time-consuming and costly, and contamination presents unique development challenges, particularly in terms of time, money, and predictability. For example, a developer does not know the nature and extent of a property’s contamination until there has been an investigation, and is liable for any contamination the investigation missed. Liability also extends to the developer’s lenders and investors. Further, the developer does not know the potential cleanup cost until the investigation ends. And remediation must meet state standards (the Remediation Standard Regulations). The level of cleanup varies depending on several factors, such as the intended reuse and location of the property.

How many brownfields are in Connecticut?

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) estimates that there could be tens of thousands of sites in the state that are or may be polluted, which it attributes to Connecticut’s long industrial history. Not all of these sites are considered brownfields as they do not all satisfy the above definition. DEEP maintains an inventory of the 516 brownfields it has identified.

… How does the state encourage and help developers to clean up and redevelop brownfields?

Generally, the state encourages and helps developers clean up and redevelop brownfields by (1) relaxing the procedural requirements for investigating and remediating contamination; (2) reducing exposure to liability for contamination discovered after a property is properly investigated and remediated; and (3) providing grants, loans, and tax credits for cleanup and redevelopment costs.

Tax Incentives. Tax incentives are a standard tool states use to encourage certain activities, including brownfield remediation. Tax credits for redeveloping brownfields and other property are available under two DECD-administered programs: the (1) Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credit Program, which provides up to $100 million in tax credits, over a 10-year period, for projects that create significant jobs and capital investment in the state’s urban centers and other economically distressed communities and (2) 7/7 Program, which, for brownfield projects, provides 14 years of business or personal income tax and sales and use tax credits. The 7/7 program also allows the property’s tax assessment to be frozen for five years at the predevelopment assessed value.

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7 comments

  1. Why is this an issue now. This has been going on for a very long time here in Bridgeport,throughout the Northeast,Mid–Atlantic and Rust Belt States. This is not a new issue. It is only a good issue for those who want to restrict re-development in tha areas that I listed before.

  2. I’ve been asking the question for a few years. John Kleps in his finite self-serving wisdom said I didn’t know what I was talking about. Ah well, no matter. He’s a Trump supporter. That explains a lot.

  3. First-off, DEEP is a composite agency of conflicting missions — it consists of our old DEP, Department of Energy and Technology, and the old DPUC… For one super-department to be charged with dealing with the often-at-odds decision-making processes of protecting energy consumers, utility rate-payers, and occupants of the Connecticut natural/human-altered environs of the state — where all three of these aspects of these aspects of the Connecticut political constituencies intersect, and where intense lobbying by money-driven interests subverts the interests of this constituency from three different directions (all three, focused, very powerfully in $ingle, anti-human-interest direction)– is an absurdity that can have come only out of Dan Malloy’s governorship/GA…

    In a rational world, the deeply-dysfunctional DEEP would be disassembled and the three agencies allowed to perform their essential functions on behalf of the residents of Connecticut in focused, un-conflicted/uncorrupted manners, as was the intention before the creation of the intentionally-obfuscating super-agency… The DEP is supposed to serve as a separate check on the Energy and Public Utility Departments, which are supposed to serve as a check on each other, all serving together to protect consumer and constituent health and well-being interests…

    The first act of Ned Lamont, as governor, should be the disassembly of DEEP.

    Then with a real Department of Environmental PROTECTION we can focus on brownfields remediation and reclaiming our brownfields for their most-productive, highest-level of re-use — which, logically, would usually be some form of manufacturing… There are many examples, world-wide, of this latter governmental policy/goal…

  4. Let’s extrapolate this issue. One of the big issues is about making Bridgeport Harbor an on-going and forward moving positive aspect about Bridgeport;having a deep-water port. But CT and NY are embroiled in a fight as to where to put the sludge from BPT harbor,which is probably toxic to some degree. Bridgeport has another harbor. Black Rock Harbor. No discussion about the viability of access to Black Rock Harbor. However,over the various past years, I have seen repeated dredging of the waterway between St. Mary’s(Bpt) and Fairfield beaches. Of course, this dredging is absolutely necessary for the super deluxe personal boats coming out from the South Benson Rd Marina in Fairfield. Another example of the two states of Connecticut. I can stand on St. Mary’s and see the super deluxe boats come in and out but Fairfield has constricted all types of rules to keep out Bridgeporters from using Fairfield beaches etc. Economic segregation in the State of Connecticut.

  5. The City Council and the mayor should be addressing this issue. Bridgeport is dappled with contaminated industrial sites. There is a bit of state and federal money to help remedy the situation. But that’s not a priority for Little Joe Ganim. He lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary for the good of the people of the city of Bridgeport, if the wife on an administration official is to be believed. Right. All those businessmen in suits ponying up thousands of dollars to drink brandy and smoke expensive cigars with hizzoner… You’d think the environment was more important than the glitz and glamor of partying with an ex con.

  6. So here we have a City Attorney’s Office, appointed to represent the interests of the people of the city of Bridgeport. One would think the mayor would have directed the legal office to find ways to take ownership of delinquent properties and locate the funds to clean them up, holding previous owners accountable for the toxicity they left behind on their way to a cheaper labor pool overseas. But noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, that isn’t a priority even though there is potential for financial benefit to the city. All that government money coming in would create many jobs.

    Instead the City Attorney is focused on maintaining control of the levers of government by feeding bullshit to the City Council and sending a half dozen lieutenants to fend off a retired judge. Mr. Meyer, it’s not about controlling the political apparatus for Joe Ganim. He’s a tool of government, just like you.

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