State Rep. Bill Buckbee, R-67, recently co-sponsored and supported a bill that seeks to improve brownfield remediation efforts across Connecticut.

The initiative creates a legal blueprint for organizing and operating local nonprofit land banks to acquire and remediate tracts of land that have been identified as brownfields.

“Traditionally, only government entities have been allowed to apply for brownfield remediation incentives, such as tax credits and other tools needed to complete these projects,” Buckbee said.

“Allowing nonprofit organizations, which must qualify as a Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank, to also access these resources is a win-win,” he said.

According to Buckbee, for a nonprofit to qualify as a CBLB it must apply to the Department of Economic and Community Development.

CBLBs must demonstrate an ability to gather funding from private lenders, municipalities, as well as the state and federal governments. The overall economic impact on the municipality will also be a consideration for the DECD commissioner to make.

“Outsourcing work to nonprofit organizations is not a new concept,” Buckbee said. “This bill creates another avenue for private entities to expedite the process of remediation, with the motive to sell the improved land for redevelopment.”

The bill received overwhelming, bipartisan support. It passed with only one dissenting vote and awaits further action in the Senate.