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  • 24 Jan 2023 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) and Pennsylvania Society of Women Environmental Professionals (PA SWEP), hosted a post-holiday reception in King of Prussia, PA on January 12th.  Approximately (55) Environmental Professionals attended and a good time was had by all. Thanks to Mike Bliss of AWT and Joe Kraycik of Environmental Standards of the BCONE PA Expansion Committee for their efforts. Thanks to all sponsors and attendees who helped raise money for BCONE’s and PA SWEP’s scholarship funds. Please reach out to Mike Bliss or Joe Kraycik for interest in BCONE membership and Ammie Martin for PA SWEP Membership. Stay tuned for more events coming up soon including BCONE’s Happy 2023 event in Albany NY on Feb 2, 2023 and one in CT on Jan 31, 2023, and more joint events with BCONE and SWEP chapters throughout the Northeast.   PA Event sponsors: Terraphase;  Pennoni; Environmental Standards; Eurofins; Synergy Environmental; GZA; Brightfields; Eldredge; AWT. 



  • 01 Jan 2023 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Led by Ambrosino, They’re Hitting The Ground Running 

    Three women are now the highest-level leaders of the BCONE Executive Team ready to tackle 2023 with vision, execution, and results -- all with an emphasis on networking and education. 

    By Steve Dwyer              

    To Melina Ambrosino, the newly elected President of BCONE, the collaborative success that she anticipates generating with newly-elected Vice Presidents, Almariet Roberts and Nancy Struzenski, is one marked by the supreme synergy that balances their professional experiences and capacities. 

    Ambrosino, who serves as another president -- that of president for Cherrytree Group, Newton, Mass. -- has established a significantly successful reputation for strategizing the dispersal of brownfield tax credits. Melina says it’s a huge benefit for a board of directors to have such a balance across this vast and eclectic industry.

    That’s the beauty of how BCONE is structured as it consists of professionals from a wide universe of professional capacities -- ones that align to foster opportunity and growth in advancing brownfield industry initiatives. 

    Almariet Roberts, skilled in lab and field research, is Project Geologist at HRP Associates Inc., Hamden, Connecticut. She has vast experience researching mineral interactions within microbial mats and examining the effects of cyanobacterial metabolisms and increased pH on the dissolution of diatoms. Almariet is an experienced office administrator with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit sector. 




    Nancy Struzenski Farrell, with more than 30 years of experience in the environmental laboratory business, is Vice President of Technical Sales at Alpha Analytical, and she’s based in Binghamton, New York. Nancy specializes in providing laboratory analytical testing services to a variety of clients, including consultants, environmental firms, government agencies, and developers.

    Melina can’t wait to see the three board leaders collaborate in 2023 and become one epoxy-tight team that executes and delivers. Appointed as one of 15 BCONE board members in early 2021, Melina had submitted her application for nomination during the January 2020 meeting. She has been involved in the Massachusetts Expansion Committee and NSCW conference planning. 

    “I joined BCONE [in 2021] to meet other industry leaders and professionals. I’d not have met Almariet and Nancy if not for BCONE: It’s been one of the best working relationships I’ve ever had, and we’ve become friends as well. I know nothing about lab or testing, and that’s Nancy’s expertise -- I can direct people to Nancy. I know nothing about fieldwork, and now I can direct them to Almariet. What we want in the end is to point more developers and clients to all these experts, and encourage them to attend educational seminars.”

    Melina offered a huge tip of the cap to outgoing BCONE President Rick Shoyer, praising what he accomplished over three years. “Rick provided the three of us with an excellent foundation on which to build and grow -- Rick was an amazing hands-on president. We want to follow in that legacy. We see increased education and more robust BCONE networking events as being keys to making that happen.”  

    Almariet says she’s “incredibly excited and honored to be working with Nancy and Melina. They are exemplary leaders in their industry, and their commitment to BCONE is inspiring. I think we have a dynamic team that brings a variety of skills to the table that will help effectively grow and strengthen the organization.”   

    Nancy concurs, adding: “I can tell you that the three of us have the same goals and mission for BCONE and have worked very well together in the past. Melina and I were responsible, as co-chairs, for the first Connecticut NSCW in over 10 years, with an attendance of more than 225 people. Almariet and I co-chaired two Barcelone Wine Bar events before and after COVID with record attendance for an evening networking event. I feel this team works so well together and look forward to a very successful 2023.”

    As Melina looks ahead, she identifies several areas that sit on the BCONE front burner. “One thing I’m passionate about is the opportunity BCONE provides young professionals, who are emerging leaders. BCONE is very supportive of young professionals, and it’s all part of what and why I’m very passionate about in 2023 and beyond: when you see how excited [college] students get when we are connected to education -- all to help them grow professionally, that’s the best gift.” 

    She is also eager to leverage BCONE’s vast resources to drive better networking with industry people -- be it within a social setting, formal education (such as colleges and universities) or via BCONE’s many annual events -- think NSCW and more. Regarding virtual meetings, “people are ‘Zoom-fatigued.’ They crave more in-person interaction. While we still must rely on virtual meetings, in-person events and hybrid formats are paramount. At the 2022 NSCW, we had record attendance,” says Melina.  

    Regarding her own experience at Cherrytree Group, which has pivoted in a big way toward advocating for and financing solar projects, Melina says the firm continues to hone its reputation for closing renewable energy deals that include solar and other renewable vertical applications, such as wind power situated on brownfields.  

    About solar, she adds: “At BCONE, solar development is huge right now. Landfills that are closed or closing are prime candidates for solar redevelopments.” 

    On how developers need to get better up to speed on what their financial opportunities consist of in order to fund projects: “We need to educate developers on what they can get in the context of brownfield tax credits. Many of them look at us and say, ‘what’s that?’ It sounds like witchcraft to them. Some very skilled and accomplished BCONE consultants can counsel developers about the dynamics behind applying for and obtaining these credits.”

    A Champion for Environmental Justice 

    Almariet says that, as she peers at some of her front-burner goals in 2023 across several key areas that regularly impact the brownfields redevelopment process, “environmental justice considerations in brownfield redevelopment is an issue I hope we will continue to focus on and build more content around for our members. 

    “It is imperative that future redevelopment be inclusive and elevate the quality of life for the local community,” she says. “Underserved communities have been disproportionately impacted by brownfield sites and have historically been inequitably alienated from redeveloped sites. I believe that if a community has had to bear the burden of living with a blighted brownfield in their neighborhood, then they should reap the benefit from the redevelopment of that property.”

    Almariet adds that “equitable redevelopment coupled with climate-forward initiatives will be the key to sustainable and resilient redevelopment in the future. It is important that stakeholders learn from past mistakes and make a commitment to improving these injustices in the future.”

    Identifying challenges she’s most concerned about, Almariet points to post-pandemic where “it was challenging to navigate how to most impactfully engage our members. We adapted quickly to virtual events and were able to come up with creative new ways to connect with one another.”

    Moving into 2023, Almariet believes that “one of our main goals is to create an ideal blend of in-person, virtual and hybrid events. Our focus is to create content with both regional and local significance that can facilitate the benefits of face-to-face networking opportunities while also maintaining the ability to communicate regionally relevant information virtually.”

    Eager For NY Expansion 

    Nancy says that “in my time with BCONE, I have grown from a member to the NSCW co-chair and then to one of two vice presidents. With my current territory and growth that I’ve incorporated into expanding Connecticut, I would like to see the Upstate New York presence grow and reach out to the Upstate New York territory to learn more about BCONE and be active in the organization giving NY a full presence.”

    Looking at what she’s most excited about in 2023, Nancy says that “the new executive team has a goal to grow in an area of expanded membership and sponsorships -- both of which will put BCONE at another level.”

    Posted January 1, 2023

  • 01 Jan 2023 11:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you are reading about the pre-and post-holiday events in which BCONE has and is participating, you’ll notice that many of them are collaborative events with other like-minded organizations.

        

    BCONE kicked off the season on December 7, 2022, in Carlstadt, NJ.  Welcomed by a large, well lit sign reading “Construction Networking Holiday Party,” BCONE joined the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UCTA); BCONE sponsor and networking event organizer, Soil Connect;  the NJ Concrete & Aggregate Association; and CDE Group, producers of sand washing technology.  Many of these groups are new colleagues for BCONE and we enjoyed “breaking bread” with them.  It was a delightful evening sharing stories about clean fill, dirty dirt, and amazing technological advances to assist with change orders and soil movement filings with various agencies.  BCONE was delighted to see our colleagues from NYC and the NYC Brownfield Partnership as well as the NJ Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association (LSRPA) in attendance. 

    If you missed this networking event, there are several coming up after the holidays in CT, NJ, NY, and PA.  Check the website and register.  You’ll meet new colleagues and expand your network.

    Posted January 1, 2023

  • 28 Nov 2022 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Colleen Kokas

    Bucks County has long planned for a mix of industrial, residential and preserved open space and agricultural lands.  BCONE’s recent educational program on November 16, 2022, discussed the past 30 years of addressing brownfield sites in the county -- as told through the first-hand experiences of Bob White, the former Executive Director of the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority for 24 years.


    Woven throughout the many case studies of successfully transforming large and small industrial sites, Bob sent a clear message about how he achieved success. The first was to create a team of the various stakeholders involved, including local and state elected officials, the community and the regulatory agencies.  The second was to communicate often to ensure that information is shared fully and timely.  The third was to plan, plan, plan.  That equates to having many sites in the pipeline, as you never know when the opportunity may arise to advance one of those properties closer to a completed cleanup or to vertical development.  Bob shared a quote that reflects this appropriately, in that "if you fail to plan, you will have a plan that fails."  Bob’s full story is captured in his book, "Repurposing the Past: How a Farm Boy and Marine Helped Give Bucks County a 21st-Century Facelift."  

    Bob emphasized the importance of Pennsylvania’s Act 2 Program in contributing to the success of repurposing sites.  John Gross, PADEP Act 2 manager, spoke to the “mission creep” that is happening with the use of Act 2 within the agency.  There has been a trend in other programs within PADEP using Act 2 as an enforcement mechanic to obtain compliance -- a use never intended by the Act’s passage.  

    John alerted the group to PADEP’s recent receipt of a USEPA Brownfield Assessment Grant for which they are developing a strategy for deploying those funds.  PADEP’s initial thoughts are to provide monies to small towns that do not have the capacity to assess sites and to evaluate retired coal-fired power plants for future green energy-related projects.  

    The discussions were held at Aldie Mansion, a property owned and occupied by the Heritage Conservancy, a nonprofit agency with a mission that nicely complements the mission of addressing brownfields.  The Heritage Conservancy’s President and CEO, Bill Kunze, welcomed BCONE to the mansion, and outlined the agency’s work of preserving and protecting significant open spaces, natural resources, and our historic heritage.  In its 60+ years, the Heritage Conservancy has facilitated the protected over 15,000 acres of land to ensure our enjoyment to protect water quality and to ensure our future enjoyment of nature.  For more information on the Heritage Conservancy, or if you are interested in becoming a member, go to https://heritageconservancy.org/ or contact BCONE member and moderator of the event, Brian Clark (Brian.Clark@bipc.com), who serves on the Heritage Conservancy’s board.  

    Posted November 28, 2022

  • 27 Oct 2022 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We had a nice turnout for our networking event at the Seven Tribesmen Brewery in Wayne, NJ on October 19th. Plenty of time to meet and speak with all the attendees while trying out some high-quality, hand-crafted beers and snacking on amazing appetizers.

    The discussion on ecological site assessments and the importance of improving the biodiversity of habitats by using native plant species was very informative. The wildlife photos shared during the presentation highlighted the beauty of nature and all the flora and fauna around us.

     

     

    Thank you to our Event Sponsor GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. We couldn’t hold these events without generous volunteers like Kristen English, who organized the event, and our speakers Blaine Rothausen and Nicolette Albanese.

    Look for more networking and educational events on BCONE’s website, in eblasts and on social media.

    Thank you to our Double Platinum Sponsors for their support throughout the year.


    Posted October 27, 2022

  • 21 Oct 2022 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jamie Snook, member of BCONE’s Education & Scholarship Committee as a non-voting Board member, was published in Watershed Ecology and the Environment in mid-October, 2022..  Jamie’s  article focuses on an ecological risk assessment of the Otter Creek Basin watershed ecosystem restoration project in central Vermont.  The link is below. Congratulations to Jamie!

    Published article link:

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsee.2022.09.001

    and 

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589471422000067

    Posted October 21, 2022

  • 20 Oct 2022 4:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE held a “Tour and Pour” event on October 11, 2022, at the Camden, New Jersey waterfront with a fun group of 30 participants. The tour began at the Hilton Garden Inn Camden Waterfront Philadelphia. It was a former industrial area operated by Campbell Soup Company and the RCA Victor Company from the late 1800s until the late 1980s/early 1990s. The area was redeveloped into a 20-acre mixed-use complex by Liberty Property Trust between 2015 and 2020.

    The evening featured three stops to encourage conversations about brownfields remediation. During the tour, Marc Chartier of Pennoni described the industrial history of the project area and historical and current remedial actions associated with the remediation of 12 individual parcels within the development area. 

    Additionally, the tour highlighted the site’s current structures, which were constructed between 2017 and 2020, and are occupied by American Water, Hilton, NFI, Connor Strong and Buckelew, and the Michael’s Organization.

    The event concluded with plenty of time for networking, drinks, and appetizers while overlooking the waterfront area. Keep your eyes open for additional networking and educational programs from BCONE.

       

        

        

    Thank You to Our Speakers

    • Marc Chartier, Due Dilgence and Remediation Group Leader, PG, LSRP at Pennoni
    • Tim Mangold, Senior Project Manager, LSRP at Pennoni and Chair of BCONE’s Membership Committee

    Thank You to Our Event Sponsor

    Thank You to Our Silver Sponsor


    Annual Double Platinum Sponsors


    Posted October 20, 2022

  • 29 Sep 2022 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer 

    Hoping to infuse a new level of perspective, ideas and vision into the BCONE organization, four new non-voting members were introduced during a summer board meeting.

    Michael Deely, Manager of the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) program and the Petroleum UST Fund program at New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), was announced as non-voting member within the Regulatory committee. Joining Deely is Karen A. Cahill, Environmental Engineer with NYSDEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation in the Department’s Region 7 office in Syracuse, N.Y.  

    Meantime, Maria Coler and Dr. Nefeli Bompoti were appointed as non-voting members on the Education and Scholarship Committee, which Coler chairs.  

    Coler is an LSRP, an alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and founder of HCI, a 100% women-owned environmental consulting firm specializing in the remediation of brownfield sites in urban centers. Coler founded BCONE’s Brownfields, Books, and Brew club while serving as the chair of the BCONE Scholarship committee, which is now the Education and Scholarship Committee.

    Bompoti, Ph.D., is assistant research professor, CT Brownfields Initiative, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UCONN, who oversees the program along with fellow professor Marisa Chrysochoou, Ph.D., director, Connecticut Brownfields Initiative, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

    It has been under Bompoti’s instruction that has led to the selection of annual recipients at UCONN for the Charlie Bartsch Brownfield Scholarship program. 

    Regulatory Member Profiles 


    Deely had previously spent 18 years at NJDEP overseeing the HDSRF program and redevelopment projects in the Office of Brownfield and Community Revitalization. 

    Cahill has been with the NYSDEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation since 2004, primarily responsible for managing investigation and remediation of contaminated sites under the NYS Brownfield Cleanup and State Superfund Programs. She also has expertise in petroleum spill response, field analytical procedures, and soil vapor intrusion.

    Comments Deely: “I have been a BCONE member for years but not a truly active member. I have tried to stay connected on what is going on in BCONE, attend sustainability  workshops, and more.”

    NJEDA is tasked with growing the state’s economy and increases equitable access to opportunity by supporting high-quality job creation, catalyzing investment, and fostering vibrant, inclusive community development.  

    NJEDA works in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders to implement programs and initiatives that improve quality of life, enhance economic vitality and strengthen the state’s long-term economic competitiveness.

    It operates within a vision to make New Jersey a national model for sustainable and equitable economic growth by investing in communities, fostering innovation, and supporting industries with high quality-jobs in the state.

    Deely, who boasts a technical background and degree from Purdue University, had worked in the private sector for several years, performing brownfield work. In the public sector, he managed the state grant program around assessment, investigation and cleanup efforts. 

    Deely has worked with many private companies in New Jersey around cultivating the gold standard in brownfield development. One goal of his within the department is right-sizing the allocation of funds so money allocated fits what recipients require to move the needle forward. He also is eager to make sure that funds don’t go unused. 

    He cited a major success story this year in Camden, N.J. regarding the Cramer Hill Waterfront Park project, which was awarded the 2022 US EPA Region 2 Phoenix Award. The project has transformed the 86-acre Harrison Avenue landfill, one of the most high-profile brownfields sites in Camden, into a waterfront park and community center. One feature: more than 375,000 plants, shrubs and trees were installed throughout the park.

    NJEDA, in partnership with the NJDEP, provided more than $26 million HDSRF to the Cramer Hill Waterfront Brownfield Development Area.

    As Deely looks ahead to his BCONE service obligation this year and into next, he’s eager to be “in an information-gathering process with a lot of idea exchange.” 

    Cahill joined BCONE in late August as a regulatory board member. “A colleague emailed me in July asking me if I would be interested in joining the board. Prior to that, I was not familiar with BCONE,” she says. 

    Taking into account her accomplished career as an environmental engineer with NYS DEC, Cahill spoke about how she envisions using this experience to effect positive impacts for the BCONE Regulatory committee this year and into ’23—all to move the needle on brownfield execution.

    “I am hopeful that I can bring a fresh perspective from the technical side of these projects, including emerging contaminant investigation, soil vapor intrusion and PCB investigation/cleanup,” she says. “A wish list to effect change would be more streamlined approach to satisfy TSCA requirements (EPA R2) and investigation/cleanup of PCB impacted sites.”

    Looking at her achievements in New York state over the past year in regards to environmental remediation execution—ones that enable her to bring a unique vision to the committee—Cahill says she’s still waiting to determine the specifics around that. “The NYSDEC Division of Environmental Remediation conference is being held in Lake George [Nov. 8-10], so I’ll have more of a specific plan at that time.” 

    After speaking to Deely, Cahill says that “working specifically with Mike can create a synergy between his current economic redevelopment experience [he is also experienced within the environmental sector] and my environmental experience.” Deely and Cahill join environmental regulators and economic development specialists from CT, DE, MA, MD and PA on the BCONE Regulatory Committee. Other state-specific brownfield associations praise BCONE’s regional dialogue among regulators from multiple states.  The exchange of program and policy ideas across state lines has always been one of the hallmarks of BCONE.

    “Overcoming stumbling blocks to progress on these sites, including financial assurance, community acceptance, eligibility, remedy implementation concurrent with development and attracting developers to take on investigation/remediation of these sites,” are the end goals that Cahill lists on her front burner.  

    Editor’s note: Stay tuned for Part II in the series when we speak to both Maria Coler and Nefeli Bompoti.

    Posted September 29, 2022

  • 29 Sep 2022 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE Board members Lori Spagnolo from DNREC and Gregg Crystall from BrightFields, Inc. welcomed BCONE friends and colleagues to Bank’s Seafood Kitchen at the Riverfront Marketplace (a former Brownfield site) in Wilmington, Delaware.  We had about 20 people in attendance at our almost 3-hour long event.  It was great fun, great getting to meet new people and great connecting with people we haven’t seen for a while.  We are already contemplating the next exciting BCONE Brownfields Drinks event in Delaware. 

         

    For those of you who are unaware of the BCONE Brownfields Drinks events, they are designed to allow attendees to re-connect with old friends and network with others in brownfield and related industries. We are holding these multiple location, happy hour events across the Northeast!

    These events are FREE and open to members, non-members, co-workers, friends, regulators, academia, and other non-profit organizations interested in meeting others involved in brownfields and related industries. Bookmark our event calendar and be on the lookout for a future event in your area. Want to host one in your area? Contact us at brownfieldcoalitionne@gmail.com with your interest.

    Posted September 29, 2022

  • 26 Sep 2022 1:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NSCW Panel, “Brownfields Redevelopment: A State-by-State Journey” Compares and Contrasts 3 States’ Remediation Processes

    Attendees at the Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop took a redevelopment journey through the regulatory processes in three different states. “Brownfields Redevelopment: A State-by-State Journey” was moderated by Dr. Colette Santasieri (Executive Director, NJIT TAB Program) and featured speakers John Gross (Environmental Group Manager, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection), Lori Spagnolo (Brownfield Coordinator, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control) and Mark Lewis (Brownfields Coordinator, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection). While the intent of remediating contamination and returning brownfields to productive reuse is a common goal in every state, the steps, time frames, and benchmarks can vary greatly by state. This session demonstrated those variations by taking a fictional closed gas station and auto repair facility through the state regulatory processes in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut. 

    Editor’s Note:  BCONE’s Regulatory Committee is comprised of members from the environmental departments and economic development agencies of CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY, and PA.  They meet monthly to compare and contrast laws, rules, processes, programs, and emerging ideas.  BCONE is the only brownfield organization with this regional focus and idea sharing across state lines.  BCONE members reap the benefits of this committee through educational panels, white papers, committee reports, etc.  Hear from this important committee  at BCONE’s Virtual Annual Membership Meeting being held on November 15 at 3:30-5:00 pm.  You can register here.

    Posted September 26, 2022

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