DEEP: Brownfield Sites in Connecticut

Brownfield Sites in Connecticut

A brownfield is defined by Connecticut General Statutes §32-9kk(a)(1) as “any abandoned or underutilized site where redevelopment, reuse or expansion has not occurred due to the presence or potential presence of pollution in the buildings, soil or groundwater that requires investigation or remediation before or in conjunction with the restoration, redevelopment, reuse and expansion of the property.”

In the early 1990’s, the federal government and the states began to focus attention on the problems associated with brownfield sites. These sites, once used for industrial, manufacturing, or commercial uses, were lying abandoned or underutilized due to known or suspected contamination from past uses. Unknown environmental liabilities were preventing communities, developers and investors from restoring these properties to productive use and revitalizing impacted neighborhoods.

In Connecticut, state remediation programs and standards are in place to help promote the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields and other contaminated sites. The Connecticut Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs) establish clear cleanup standards which must be met to ensure the safe reuse of contaminated sites. The Voluntary Remediation Programs and Property Transfer Program provide a mechanism by which property owners can work with the State to assess environmental conditions at their properties and ensure that cleanups will meet state standards. In some cases, funding for State Brownfield Programs may be available to assist with assessment and/or remediation of Brownfield sites deemed to be significant to the economy of the State. The State also works to limit the liability of prospective purchasers through the use of Covenants Not to Sue.

The Remediation Division within the Bureau of Water and Land Reuse at the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) is the primary State division responsible for addressing the assessment and cleanup of brownfields and other contaminated sites within the State of Connecticut.  The Remediation Division coordinates with the Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance on remediation of releases from underground storage tanks, PCBs and illegal waste disposal sites.

The Connecticut Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development (OBRD), a dedicated Brownfield Office within the Department of Economic and Community Development, is the official State of Connecticut Brownfield Office and both a financing and technical resource for the Brownfield programs and services the State offers. Such programs include gap financing, seed capital programs, corporate tax credits and an environmental liability insurance program. OBRD works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the Connecticut Brownfields Redevelopment Authority (CBRA), the Office of Policy & Management (OPM) and other organizations.

The Federal Brownfields Law

Connecticut Brownfields Inventory

Public Record Requirement

State Brownfield Remediation Programs, Liability Relief, and Financial Assistance

US EPA Brownfields Grants

Contact Information and Other Sources of Brownfields Information

Redevelopment of brownfield sites has social and economic benefits, as well as benefits to human health and the environment, such as:

  • reducing or eliminating public exposure to pollutants,
  • cleaning up sites that otherwise would not be cleaned up for decades, 
  • reducing environmental impacts associated with industrial sprawl by returning abandoned and underutilized sites to productive use,
  • creating the potential for new tax revenue for municipalities and the State,
  • utilizing existing infrastructure, thereby minimizing the expansion of new infrastructure into undeveloped areas,
  • reversing urban decay and revitalizing our cities, and
  • creating short-term construction and longer-term jobs.

Guidance | Policies | Forms 
Remediation Programs and Information

Content Last Updated November 1, 2011