– Yesterday, Governor DeWine signed HB168 into law, following the unanimous passage of HB168 through both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate last month. The bill, introduced in March 2019 by former State Representative Steven Arndt (R – Port Clinton), provides liability protection to purchasers of brownfields sites through an affirmative defense. The bill will take effect 90 days after the governor’s signature, on September 14.
Brownfields are found in every county throughout the state, in both rural and urban communities. These blighted sites discourage investment and create barriers to job creation and economic development. Brownfield redevelopment often involves more time and increased costs, and the environmental contamination increases liability to purchasers and developers. Because of this, their redevelopment is often passed over.
While incentives are still needed to offset the increased cost of redeveloping brownfields, HB168’s passage will encourage brownfield redevelopment by incorporating the bona fide purchaser defense (BFPD) into Ohio law. Prior to HB168’s passage, a gap existed between federal law and Ohio law, as a purchaser may receive liability protections by following federal standards, which were not extended under Ohio standards. Visit GOPC’s BFPD FAQ page
for more details on the BFPD.
Brownfield redevelopment continues to be a top policy priority for GOPC. Since the sunset of the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF), brownfield redevelopment has been down in the state. GOPC, along with public and private sector stakeholders, acknowledge both regulatory reforms and increased incentives are needed to encourage the redevelopment of brownfields to spur economic development in the state. Last month, Reps. Hillyer and Swearingen introduced HB675, legislation to re-fund the CORF program.
GOPC looks forward to continuing our legislative efforts to provide Ohio’s communities with sensible policies to address their brownfields, create jobs, and encourage economic development. About Greater Ohio Policy Center
Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a mission to improve Ohio’s communities through smart growth strategies and research. Our vision is a revitalized Ohio. We undertake original research and analysis, develop pragmatic policy recommendations and advocacy strategies, and deploy our convening power to meet the needs of Ohio’s local change-makers. We operate statewide.