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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2020 08:47 AM
From: Representative Austin A. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Providing Landbanks Environmental Liability Protection
Revitalization of blighted or unused properties is a major priority of municipalities across the Commonwealth. Landbanks are a powerful tool that can be used to revitalize communities and the local economy. At this time, landbanks could be liable for brownfields and other contaminated areas, while other economic development agencies have protections while doing the same work.
When a landbank acquires a property, they become the “owner” of the property and the “responsible person” for mitigating environmental problems or concerns.  I will be introducing legislation which will grant landbanks the same protections presently given to redevelopment authorities when they are dealing with environmentally compromised properties.
As we all know, there are numerous former industrial or commercial sites such as gas stations, dry cleaners, junkyards and landfills throughout the state where the future use is clouded by environmental concerns. This change in law would allow land banks to own these properties and develop a re-use plan for them without worrying that it would have to take on the liability of enforcement action from the Department of Environmental Protection.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation which will save landbanks time and money, clean up environmentally hazard areas through redevelopment, and return properties to good use. 

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Introduced as HB610