New Regulations Make it Easier to Reuse Property and Create Jobs in the Commonwealth
“This is now, in my opinion, the most aggressive state program in the United States to spur redevelopment and reuse of brownfields,” said Shawn Cecil, of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Commissioner’s Office. “The department is proactively looking for ways to encourage property redevelopment and reuse, and all the good that comes with it. In this case, we’re looking to bring industry to vacant and underused properties as well as jobs to the state.”
This property (see picture) in Versailles, Ky., was the first to change hands under the new provisions of HB 465.
Top 7 Reasons the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program Works
Here are the top ways that you and the Commonwealth can benefit from the new regulations and program.
- A buyer can purchase previously used property without the risk of taking on environmental investigation or cleanup. This could help spur the redevelopment of high traffic locations with existing infrastructure.
- The only restriction on future use of the property is with respect to risk posed by any contaminants present.
- The program utilizes the same essential criteria as the federal program, making a qualified applicant in Kentucky’s program likely to be qualified for federal protection, but with the added certainty of putting Kentucky’s findings in writing and having state concurrence on buyer care obligations.
- There are incentives, including tax credits for remedial costs, grants for governments and non-profits or public/private partnerships, utility tariffs, and Kentucky’s Revolving Loan Fund/Grant Fund.
- The program can provide a boost to economies of both small and large communities. It helps get vacant properties back into productive reuse and can be a stimulus for jobs and generating tax revenue. It is expected to result in more redevelopments in smaller Kentucky towns than have been seen in the past.
- Reuse and management of already contaminated properties is made easier. This improves the overall safety and security of the property which may have been abandoned or sat vacant for years to become an attractive nuisance or place where illegal activities take place. It also reduces the need to develop and use Kentucky’s greenfield land for new industrial activity.
- Getting more contaminated properties under cabinet-approved property management plans, which are designed to address possible risks to the public, improves public health, safety and the environment.
The program is generating a lot of interest and has achieved early success. There have been over 25 program applicants so far. The future of the program, the opportunities available to participants and the benefits to communities across the Commonwealth are promising.
Anyone interested in the new brownfield redevelopment regulations should begin by contacting the Kentucky Division of Waste Management’s Superfund Branch at 502-564-6716. Shawn Cecil can be reached at Shawn.Cecil@ky.gov or 502-564-6716, ext. 4754.