Category: Brownfields

She reclaims toxic waste dumps, and she just won a major landscape architecture award

Read the full story from NPR.

Landscape architecture has never quite gotten the adulation of capital-A architecture, but perhaps a new prize can help change that — especially since it’s being given to an innovative designer who’s been respectfully referred to as “the toxic beauty queen of brownfield remediation.”

The inaugural winner of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize is Julie Bargmann, a professor at the University of Virginia and founder of a studio called D.I.R.T – Dump It Right There. The award, announced today by the Cultural Landscape Foundation, is intended to confer the status of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, as well as a similar purse — $100,000 for the winner.

Once a notorious Superfund, South Jersey landfill property soon will power hundreds of homes with solar

Read the full story from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 60-acre GEMS landfill in Gloucester Township, laden with industrial waste, asbestos, solvents and heavy metals, will become the site of a new 4.5 megawatt solar array.

West Virginia startup turns coal mines into lavender farms and wellness products

Read the full post at Treehugger.

Former strip mines aren’t the first place you think of when it comes to sustainable agriculture, beekeeping, or the wellness industry. But a project in southwestern West Virginia is looking to change that. Called Appalachian Botanical Company, the company is growing lavender and raising bees on a former mining site, and then turning its harvests into essential oils, body creams, and other value-added products. 

2021 National Brownfields Training Conference

December 8-11, 2021,  Oklahoma City, OK
More information

The Brownfields Conference features a dynamic educational program of speakers, discussions, mobile workshops, films and other learning formats that are calibrated to provide you with case study examples, program updates, and useful strategies for meeting your brownfield challenges head on. The exceptional training offered by the Brownfields Conference has something for both beginners and seasoned professionals.

Oklahoma City was chosen for the site of the 2021 Brownfields Conference due to the exciting brownfields redevelopment happening in the city. The site of the conference, the brand new Oklahoma City Convention Center, was itself built on a redeveloped brownfield site.

The conference is also a premier stop for the private sector with a vibrant exhibit hall and other transactional activities that are catered towards companies doing the business of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. The exhibit hall will feature federal agencies, engineering firms, developers, environmental cleanup companies, legal and financial expertise, nonprofits, and other types of organizations.

Brownfields 2021 will also feature special sessions on local economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a Refinery’s Ashes, Hope for an End to Decades of Pollution

Read the full story at e360.

An old industrial site in Philadelphia is being converted into a vast e-commerce distribution center, a trend being seen in other U.S. cities. But the developers of these brownfields must confront a legacy of toxic pollution and neglect of surrounding communities of color.

An urban farm to bring green energy, jobs to South Side

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farming Campus is expected to be complete in spring 2022. A $3 million state grant announced Friday will help; it comes on top of other financial assistance from the city and a local foundation.

Turning Brownfields into Community Benefits: New Pathways for Local Government and Renewable Energy Partnerships

Read the full story at JD Supra.

As part of its broader goal of increasing renewable energy production, New York State has set a policy goal encouraging the beneficial reuse of brownfield sites, including closed landfills. The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the “Act”), passed by the New York State legislature on April 3, 2020, specifically prioritizes siting of large-scale renewable projects on landfills, brownfields, and other underutilized properties, bringing more attention to municipal landfills and other dormant sites. To implement this prioritization, the Act requires the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) through a “Build Ready” program to identify environmentally challenged, dormant industrial and other difficult to develop sites and to invest resources in making them ready for developers to capitalize upon. This directive is coupled with expanded incentive funding from NYSERDA in its NY-Sun program for smaller-scale and community solar projects sited on landfills and brownfields.

Both developers and municipalities should understand how these programs can be leveraged to their mutual benefit, including the related incentives that are available. Host community agreements and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements (“PILOTs”) are nothing new; almost every renewable energy project in the State comes with at least one. Now, both developers and municipalities can receive a wider range of benefits from these projects through State programs that are getting underway. When coupled with funding from State and Federal brownfield cleanup tax credits and grants, these incentives can also have the added benefit of assisting in spurring local economic development through all stages of a redevelopment project – from site cleanup and remediation, to the development and ongoing operation of a renewable energy project.

Land posing risk to first responders, neighbors to be site of solar farm

Read the full story from the Post Bulletin.

When the Elgin Fire Department was paged to a fire in Haverhill Township Monday evening, Fire Chief Craig Ziebell recognized the address.

One person was injured in the fire and multiple homes north of the site evacuated.

Olmsted County officials had notified the Elgin Fire Department last year that the abandoned 22-acre parcel of land at the 4600 block of 70th Ave. NE was a state-designated brownfield site with multiple health and environmental hazards.

The fire Monday is still under investigation. Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputies, who arrived first on the scene assisted the injured man and later evacuated residents north of the site where the smoke was drifting.

During the response, Ziebell, aware of the hazardous materials that had been posed at the site, kept firefighters from getting too close to the fire to enter the smoke.

Brownfields Technical Assistance, Training and Research

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) Brownfields Amendments authorize EPA to provide funding to organizations to conduct research and to provide training and technical assistance to communities to help address their brownfields challenges. Information presented on this page lists past and current technical assistance and research projects EPA funds and resources that are available to all communities.


Hawaii unveils new online tool to assess potential of contaminated sites for renewable energy development

Read the full story from the Hawaii State Energy Office.

The State of Hawaii has launched a new online mapping tool as part of its Hawaii Brightfields Initiative that will make it easier for land owners, developers, community members, and policymakers to assess the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites and other previously developed parcels statewide in support of Hawaii’s clean energy future.

The new tool may be found at the Hawaii State Energy Office’s (HSEO) Developer & Investor Center at:

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