Legislators and lobbyists in the Connecticut state Capitol on Jan. 4, 2023, the first day of the legislative session. Stephen Busemeyer / CT Mirror

The Commerce Committee is considering two pieces of legislation that would tweak the state’s brownfield program, which provides funding to redevelop former industrial or commercial properties affected by environmental contamination.

“Our brownfields program has been so very important to the revitalization of the state of Connecticut, in particular in view of our historic industrial legacy,” Committee Chair Joan Hartley, D-Waterbury, said. “It is through this program that we are able to recapture and hopefully get these properties back onto the tax rolls.” 

Senate Bill 1042 would allow brownfield land banks to use state funding to cover their operational costs. Senate Bill 1092 authorizes land banks to enter into agreements with regional councils of government to improve rivers and waterways.

Erica covers economic development for CT Mirror. Before moving to Connecticut to join the staff she worked in Los Angeles for public radio’s Marketplace and, before that, for the Wall Street Journal's L.A. bureau. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from Haverford College and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.