Critical Updates to the Polanco Act

In October 2013, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 440, which helps facilitate the cleanup and redevelopment of blighted urban properties (i.e., Brownfield sites). This new law, referred to as Polanco 2.0, is an expansion of, and successor to, the original Polanco Redevelopment Act, which effectively ended on February 1, 2012 with the formal dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.

Under AB440, cities, counties, and some housing authorities (“local agencies”) can now compel responsible parties to clean up their blighted property, or can directly perform the cleanup themselves. Local agencies are authorized to investigate blighted properties and prepare cleanup plans, or require that the property owners investigate the property and develop the cleanup plan themselves. The cleanup plan is then reviewed and approved by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control or the Regional Water Quality Control Board. For local agencies developing and implementing the cleanup plan themselves, AB440 includes provisions for direct cost recovery from the responsible party. AB440 provides for immunity from additional environmental liability to the local agency and to any person who enters into an agreement with that agency to redevelop the property. The protection extends to all future property owners.

AB440, which became effective on January 1, 2014, gives local agencies a new tool to facilitate the cleanup and redevelopment of blighted properties by removing some of the uncertainty about the authority, source of funding, and liability issues associated with contaminated sites. Northgate can help you navigate this process, relying on our well-developed relationships with local regulatory agencies and our expertise with all aspects of site investigation and remediation, including Phase I and II environmental site assessments, remediation, and knowledge of regulatory requirements.

Please contact Jennifer Nixon, Business Director, at 510-839-0688 or at to learn more about Northgate’s services.