The movement of the brownfields bill currently before the Senate HB6097 is a fascinating legislative case study.
The 48-page bill seeks to limit liability, hold polluters accountable and expedite clean ups -- all without providing new resources for remediation or reuse.
The bill is the result of three years of stakeholder task force research and reports. It sailed through the House with relative ease just before 11 PM on Friday but is bogged down in the Senate.
Yesterday, the following interests swarmed the Senate to advocate for their preferred langauge: the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, the cities of Stamford, Waterbury and New Haven, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, brownfield developers, and brownfield attorneys.
With thousands of brownfield sites across the state, the stakes are high. Will all the advocacy result in a bill that cleans up polluted sites, protects our environment, and puts underutilized, vacant and abandoned properties back to life, generating economic activity and tax revenue?
No question, it's a difficult balance, but one we can't wait any longer to reach.