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Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Program (BRELLA)

Brownfields Program
Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Program (BRELLA)

One impediment to reuse of brownfields is fear of legal liability for pre-existing environmental contamination.  In Vermont, as in other states, owners of contaminated property may be liable for cleanup regardless of whether or not they caused the contamination.  Liability for cleanup can continue even after a property is sold.  

WHAT: The environmental liability limitation program is established under the Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Act (BRELLA) codified at 10 V.S.A. §6641-§6656.  

WHYParticipation in Vermont’s environmental liability limitation program (BRELLA) provides a way out of the liability chain and enables redevelopment to proceed knowing that legal and financial risks associated with contamination have been put to rest.

WHO: Participation in the program is open to persons who intend to purchase a brownfield property, as well as persons who already own a brownfield property, provided that they did not cause or contribute to the contamination. 

>>>For purposes of this program, brownfields are generally defined as real property, for which expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the release or threatened release of a hazardous material.<<<

Primary benefits of the Program are:

  • limitation of environmental liability;
  • access to financial assistance;  
  • additional incentives are available to persons that enter the BRELLA Program prior to purchasing a brownfield property.