During the recession, President Obama passed legislation that increased the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on certain technologies, such as solar photovoltaic systems, from 10% to 30%. However, the eligible ITC on such technologies will revert back to 10% on of December 31, 2016. As this 2016 sunset date draws closer, the renewable energy industry is beginning to plan for the impending change. The general thinking behind this sunset date is that by 2016 the renewable energy industry will be established enough that it can continue to function without the current level of government assistance.
Last Friday, Cherrytree Group hosted our third annual seminar, “Developing a Brownfields Site: Building a Toolkit for Success”. This was a panel discussion which drew experts from several different fields together to discuss how to work together and essentially form a team to develop a Brownfields site without ‘breaking the bank’.
Most people would never consider intentionally purchasing a contaminated property. There are those however, who see opportunity in purchasing contaminated parcels of land with the intent to remediate them and then either develop or resell the property.
The Obtaining a Brownfields conference was such a success, that we have hosted the event twice. First in Boston, MA in May, and again most recently this October in Springfield, MA. At both events, attendees had the chance to hear leaders in the environmental industry explain their professional experience working with the Massachusetts Brownfields program. The speakers at the recent Springfield event were: Kerry Bowie, Director of Brownfields and Environmental Justice, MA DEP, Richard Cote, P.E., LSP, Comprehensive Environmental Inc., and Warren Kirshenbaum, President, Cherrytree Group. These speakers presented their knowledge on the different facets of the Massachusetts Brownfields Program using case studies and real life examples. Attending LSPs had the option to register for credit and receive 2.0 technical credits for the conference.
The Greenery of Brownfields:
What exactly is a Brownfields site?
This term, which was first minted in 1992, is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant”. This EPA definition was used as the foundation of the original federal brownfields program back in 1995, and derivatives thereof have been adapted for use under state brownfields programs across the nation. Although the federal brownfields program was allowed to sunset in 2011, many of the state Brownfields programs are still thriving, and, given that the federal program was the genesis of these state programs, we still focus on the roots of the federal program for guidance and understanding.
Due to the success of our May event, “Obtaining a Brownfields: Why You May be Closer Than You Think”, the Cherrytree Group is proud to host a second event in Springfield, MA to accommodate Western Massachusetts-based LSPs and environmental professionals. The event will feature a panel of guest speakers including: Kerry Bowie, Director of Brownfields and Environmental Justice at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Richard Cote, P.E., LSP, Principal, Manager at Comprehensive Environmental Inc, and Warren Kirshenbaum, President, Cherrytree Group. The event is intended to educate LSPs and those in the environmental community on the specifics of what a Brownfields site actually is; how to obtain and monetize Brownfields Tax Credits; and how these credits help foster community redevelopment.
With the advent of the internet, social media, and the growing popularity of blogs, a relatively new source of passive income has emerged. Today, “affiliate marketing” which is typically generated when targeted advertisements are placed on high traffic websites, has become a major revenue source for individuals with popular websites and blogs. When readers click advertisement links and/or make purchases from a website, the operator of the site makes a small profit, hence the term, “affiliate marketing”. For popular sites, this profit can accumulate into quite a substantial amount of passive income.
The Massachusetts Brownfields Act is a statute that allows eligible tax payers to receive a tax credit for costs directly incurred in remediating environmentally contaminated land in situations where the taxpayer did not cause the contamination. One of the qualification requirements for the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit (BTC) is that the property must be located within “Economically Distressed Area” (EDA). For many land owners or developers with a potential Brownfields site the term, “Economically Distressed” is discouraging because they assume their property will not fit under this category. Many of these same owners/operators are surprised to learn that their properties are in actuality considered EDA’s. In fact, of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, there are 248 Economically Distressed Areas.
Most of the time, EDA’s are whole towns or cities, for example the city of Cambridge, or the town of Burlington.