Investors and developers who purchase land with plans for redevelopment may find themselves facing unexpected cleanup costs. In some cases, these cleanup costs can include the removal of dangerous waste. The costs quickly skyrocket, and property owners may wonder if there are other options.
In some cases, other options may include federal funds to aid in the cleanup through the Brownfields Program.
What is the Brownfields Program?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program provides funds to help property owners cover the cost that comes with removing hazardous waste or pollutants from the land.
Two Connecticut sites recently received grants from this program. The sites both involve abandoned industrial and commercial properties in the state.
How will the sites use the funds?
The EPA awarded the grants to aid in covering the cost of environmental site assessments and the development of the cleanup plans. The two sites which won the grants were the Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank Inc. and the town of Stafford.
Are these grants common?
Yes. The EPA regularly provides grants to aid in brownfield cleanups — and needed cleanups are many. The agency estimates that there are over 450,000 brownfield sites throughout the U.S.
The New England area often has multiple recipients. Since the beginning of the program in 1995, this area has received $114 million for assessment funding, $109 million for supplemental funding, and an additional $75 million for cleanup costs.
Is the program successful?
The EPA estimates over 86,000 acres of land that were once contaminated with hazardous pollutants were made productive after involvement in the agency’s Brownfields Program. The Brownfields Program is just one option to help landowners who experience hurdles when attempting to develop their land. An attorney experienced in land use issues can review your situation and discuss this and other potential options.