Substitute Senate Bill No. 1014

Public Act No. 99-216

An Act Concerning Brownfields, Including Recommendations of the Program Review and Investigations Committee.

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

Section 1. Section 22a-133u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may use any funds in the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund established in section 22a-133t other than any funds which are necessary to carry out any other responsibility of said commissioner under this section, for (1) removal or mitigation of a spill, as defined in section 22a-452c, upon or into land or waters of the state if the owner of the property associated with such spill is found to be an innocent landowner, as defined in section 22a-452d, and for administrative costs related to such removal or mitigation or (2) administrative costs related to the remediation of a property for which a loan was made under subsection (b) of this section provided not more than five thousand dollars shall be disbursed from the fund for such purpose. Said commissioner may use any funds received in connection with the issuance of a covenant not to sue or a settlement by said commissioner of a claim related to contaminated real property, or any funds received pursuant to section 22a-16a, for removal or mitigation of a spill, as defined in section 22a-452c, for which the owner of the property associated with such spill would be liable except for a covenant not to sue entered into pursuant to sections 22a-133aa or 22a-133bb and for administrative costs related to such removal or mitigation. Said commissioner may use any funds received pursuant to section 22a-134e and subsection (c) of section 22a-133aa, for expenses related to the administration of sections 22a-134 to 22a-134e, inclusive, and for expenses related to administration of sections 22a-133x, 22a-133y, 22a-133aa and 22a-133bb.

(b) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, with the approval of the advisory board established in subsection (e) of this section, may use any funds deposited into the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund pursuant to section 12-63f or section 3 of public act 96-250* for (1) loans to municipalities, individuals or firms for Phase II environmental site assessments, Phase III investigations of real property or for any costs of demolition undertaken to prepare contaminated real property for development subsequent to any Phase III investigation and (2) expenses related to administration of this subsection provided such expenses may not exceed one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars per year.

(c) Any person, firm, corporation or municipality which has received funds under subsection (b) of this section shall repay such funds to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, according to a schedule and terms which said commissioner deems appropriate, upon the sale or lease of the property which is the subject of such evaluation or demolition or upon the approval by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of a final remedial action report submitted in accordance with section 22a-133y provided no repayment shall be required, other than interest for the period that the loan is outstanding, if completion of remediation of environmental pollution at or on the property, or the sale or lease of such property, is economically infeasible due to the cost of such remediation. Any funds received by said commissioner as repayment under this subsection shall be deposited into the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund. The terms of any loan agreement entered into by said commissioner under said subsection may provide for the collection of interest on the loan which may vary according to the duration of the repayment schedule for such loan provided the interest cost to the borrower provided for in such agreement shall not exceed the interest cost to the state on such loan.

(d) The amount of any funds received under subsection (b) of this section by any entity other than a municipality shall be a lien against the real property for which the funds were disbursed. A lien pursuant to this section shall not be effective unless (1) a certificate of lien is filed in the land records of each town in which the real estate is located, describing the real estate, the amount of the lien, the name of the owner as grantor and (2) the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development mails a copy of the certificate to such persons and to all other persons of record holding an interest in such real estate over which the commissioner's lien is entitled to priority. Any action for the foreclosure of such lien shall be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the state in the superior court for the judicial district in which the property subject to such lien is situated, or, if such property is located in two or more judicial districts, in the superior court for any one such judicial district, and the court may limit the time for redemption or order the sale of such property or make such other or further decree as it judges equitable.

(e) (1) There is established a Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund Advisory Board to review applications for loans from said fund under this section. The board shall consist of one member representing a municipality, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; one member representing a bank, appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; one member who has experience in the field of contaminated property remediation, appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; one member representing a municipality, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; one member representing a bank, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; one member who has experience in the field of contaminated property remediation, appointed by the Governor; and one member representing a municipality, appointed by the minority leader of the Senate. The board shall annually elect one of its members to serve as chairperson.

(2) [Said] The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with said board shall establish criteria for (A) making disbursements under subsection (b) of this section which criteria shall include, but not be limited to, anticipated commercial value of the property, potential tax revenue to the relevant municipality, environmental or public health risk posed by the spill, potential community or economic development benefit to the relevant municipality, the status of any loans previously made under said subsection to the municipality and potential for restoration of an abandoned property, and (B) cancelling loans related to a property at which the borrower of the loan elects not to proceed with remediation. Such criteria shall further set forth the procedure for applying for a loan from the fund and the procedure to be used for evaluation of such an application. In approving any loan under said subsection to any person, firm or corporation, the board may consider the loan applicant's credit history and economic solvency, any plan of such applicant for business development, municipal support for the proposed use of the property and any existing indebtedness of such applicant to any entity. Upon application for any such loan, the board shall make a recommendation to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development regarding such loan. On or before February 1, 1997, and annually thereafter, said board and the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment regarding the number of applications received, and the number and amounts of loans made in the preceding year, the names of the applicants, the time period between submission of application and the decision to grant or deny the loan, which applications were approved and which applications were denied and the reasons for denial. On or before February 1, 2000, the board shall recommend to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly whether the payments to the State Treasurer pursuant to section 12-63f shall continue in order to provide for the continued solvency of the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund.

Sec. 2. Section 12-263m of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be paid to the Commissioner of Revenue Services by each dry cleaning establishment, as defined in this subsection, a surcharge of one per cent of its gross receipts at retail for any dry cleaning service performed on or after January 1, 1995. Each such establishment shall register with the Commissioner of Revenue Services on forms prescribed by him. Each such establishment shall submit a return quarterly to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, applicable with respect to the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 1995, and each calendar quarter thereafter, on or before the last day of the month immediately following the end of each such calendar quarter, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, together with payment of the quarterly surcharge determined and payable in accordance with the provisions of this section. Whenever such surcharge is not paid when due, a penalty of ten per cent of the amount due or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, shall be imposed, and such surcharge shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof until the same is paid. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall cause copies of a form prescribed for submitting returns as required under this section to be distributed to persons subject to the surcharge. Failure to receive such form shall not be construed to relieve anyone subject to the surcharge under this section from the obligations of submitting a return, together with payment of such surcharge within the time required. The provisions of sections 12-548 to 12-554, inclusive, and sections 12-555a and 12-555b shall apply to the provisions of this section in the same manner and with the same force and effect as if the language of said sections 12-548 to 12-554, inclusive, and sections 12-555a and 12-555b had been incorporated in full into this section and had expressly referred to the surcharge imposed under this section, except to the extent that any such provision is inconsistent with a provision of this section and except that the term "tax" shall be read as "dry cleaning establishment surcharge". Any moneys received by the state pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the account established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. For the purposes of this section, "dry cleaning establishment" means any place of business engaged in the cleaning of clothing or other fabrics using tetrachlorethylene, Stoddard solvent or other chemicals or any place of business which accepts clothing or other fabrics to be cleaned by another establishment using such chemicals and "gross receipts at retail" means the total amount accruing from dry cleaning services at retail, valued in money, without any deduction for the cost of the materials used, labor or service cost or any other expense.

(b) There is established an account within the General Fund to be known as the "dry cleaning establishment remediation account". Said account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account. Any balance remaining in the account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the account for the fiscal year next succeeding. The account shall be used by the Department of Economic and Community Development for grants made to owners or operators of dry cleaning establishments pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

(c) The state, acting through the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, shall use the dry cleaning establishment remediation account to provide grants to dry cleaning establishments for the purposes of the containment and removal or mitigation of environmental pollution resulting from the discharge, spillage, uncontrolled loss, seepage or filtration of chemical liquids or solid, liquid or gaseous products or hazardous wastes on or at the site of such establishment or for measures undertaken to prevent such pollution which are approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. In order to qualify for a grant under the provisions of this section a dry cleaning establishment must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development that it (1) is using or has previously used, tetrachlorethylene or Stoddard solvent or other chemicals for the purpose of cleaning clothes or other fabrics, (2) has been doing business and has maintained its principal office and place of business in this state for a period of at least one year prior to the date of its application for assistance under this section, [and (3) it] (3) is unable to obtain financing from conventional sources on reasonable terms or in reasonable amounts, and (4) is not in arrears with regard to any tax levied by the state or any political subdivision of the state. Any funds disbursed as a grant under this section shall not be subject to attachment in the satisfaction of any judgment against the recipient of such grant in any civil action.

(d) Notwithstanding the terms of any grant made under this section, a dry cleaning establishment shall bear all the costs of such pollution that are less than ten thousand dollars, provided, for a release that was reported to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection prior to December 31, 1990, the responsible party shall bear all costs up to twenty thousand dollars. No dry cleaning establishment shall receive more than fifty thousand dollars per calendar year. There shall be allocated to the Department of Economic and Community Development annually from the account, for administrative costs, an amount equal to five per cent of the maximum balance of the account in the preceding year or one hundred thousand dollars, whichever is greater. In addition the account may be used (1) to provide grants to the Department of Environmental Protection for expenditures made investigating dry cleaning establishments and (2) to provide potable water whenever necessary.

(e) Requests for grants shall be made to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. Any dry cleaning establishment seeking grants shall provide documentation supporting the need for the grant.

(f) Any dry cleaning establishment which unlawfully or intentionally discharges or spills any chemical liquids or solid, liquid or gaseous products or hazardous wastes shall not be eligible for grants from the account.

(g) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall establish procedures for distribution of the grants and [may] shall adopt [regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54,] criteria to carry out the provisions of this section. Such criteria shall specify (1) who may apply for grants; (2) how establishments, whether owned or leased, will be determined to be eligible for grants; and (3) the costs for which a grant may be made.

(h) On or before February 1, 2000, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment regarding the account and grant program established under this section. Such report shall include information as to the number of applications received, and the number and amounts of grants made, since the inception of the program, the names of the applicants, the time period between submission of application and the decision to grant or deny the loan, which applications were approved and which applications were denied and the reasons for denial. Such report shall further include a recommendation as to whether the surcharge and the grant program established under this section should continue.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 22a-134e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The fee for filing a Form I, as defined in section 22a-134, shall be two hundred dollars. The fee for filing a Form II shall be seven hundred dollars except as provided for in subsections (e) and [(n)] (p) of this section.

Sec. 4. Subsection (p) of section 22a-134e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(p) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the fee for filing a Form II or Form IV for a parcel for which the commissioner has issued a written approval of a remediation under subsection (c) of section [22a-133w] 22a-133y within three years of the date of the filing of the form shall be the total fee for a Form III specified in subsection (n) of this section and shall be due upon the filing of the Form II or Form IV.

Sec. 5. Subsections (e) and (f) of section 22a-133m of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) [On or before July 1, 1996, the] The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or a regional economic development entity using funds allocated under subsection (f) of this section, may acquire polluted commercial or industrial property for the purpose of remediation of the pollution and for the lease or sale of such property in order to promote business growth or expansion through the reuse or redevelopment of such property. Such acquisition may include, but not be limited to, condemnation of the property in accordance with the provisions of chapter 835. For purposes of this subsection, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall be exempt from all of the requirements of sections 22a-134 to 22a-134e, inclusive, section 4b-3, and section 4b-21. When acquiring polluted property under this subsection, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may accept on behalf of the state of Connecticut the liability, at the time of the acquisition, for all costs of remediation of the polluted property provided the transferor shall be liable for all costs in excess of fifteen million dollars and further provided the commissioner shall not accept any liability under federal law. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may enter into lease, sale, or other agreements for the use of the real property acquired pursuant to this subsection. All moneys received by the state pursuant to any such agreement shall be deposited into the Urban Site Remediation Fund established under subsection (f) of this section.

(f) There is established an Urban Site Remediation Fund. The fund may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the fund and shall be held by the Treasurer separate and apart from all other moneys, funds and accounts. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the fund for the fiscal year next succeeding. The fund shall be used by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for costs incurred in the assessment and remedial activities conducted at real property acquired pursuant to subsection (e) of this subsection, and by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to pay any local property taxes on real property acquired pursuant to subsection (e) of this subsection and the costs of administering the program. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may allocate money from the fund to a regional economic development entity organized for the purpose of remediating contaminated real property.

Sec. 6. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 32-222 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(1) The project involves (A) the construction, substantial renovation, improvement or expansion of a facility; (B) the acquisition of an existing facility that has been idle for at least one year prior to such acquisition, provided if such facility is acquired through a lease, such lease: (i) Shall be for an initial term of not less than five years and (ii) shall be renewable at the option of the lessee for an additional term of not less than five years, provided the lease may be subject to the option of the lessee to purchase the facility at any time during the lease term or thereafter. The commissioner may waive the one-year idleness requirement upon determination that there is a high likelihood that the facility will remain idle for one year. In making such determination, the commissioner shall consider the marketability of the facility, the general economic condition of the municipality in which the facility is located, the size of the facility, the economic benefit of the proposed acquisition to the municipality and the state, including, but not limited to, the number of employment positions proposed to be established at the facility, and the degree to which the provision of financial assistance under sections 32-220 to 32-234, inclusive, is necessary as an inducement to the eligible applicant to acquire the facility; (C) the acquisition of new machinery and equipment used directly in the manufacturing of goods or products and acquired through purchase as part of the technological upgrading of the manufacturing process of a facility used in the operation of a manufacturing or economic base business which (i) has been in continuous operation in the state for not less than five years; and (ii) has incurred costs in acquiring such machinery and equipment not less than the greater of two hundred thousand dollars, or two hundred per cent of the average annual expenditure of the manufacturing or economic base business for the acquisition of new machinery and equipment used directly in the manufacturing of goods or products at the facility during the three years prior to the date upon which an application for financial assistance is submitted pursuant to subsection (c) of section 32-223, or (D) the acquisition, improvement, demolition or disposition of real property, or combinations thereof, or the remediation of contaminated real property, used or to be used in connection with the operation of a manufacturing or economic base business, provided, if the eligible applicant is not a municipality or implementing agency, the commissioner has determined that such project would not be undertaken or completed in a timely manner except for the provision of financial assistance pursuant to sections 32-220 to 32-234, inclusive, and that such project promotes the economic stability and growth of the state or any region thereof.

Sec. 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 1999, except that sections 1 to 4, inclusive, shall take effect October 1, 1999.

Approved June 29, 1999

TOP