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  • 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

  • 19 Sep 2022 10:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Cramer Hill Waterfront Park project in Camden won the 2022 USEPA 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 a community center.

    The main components of the project focused on shoreline protection, landfill closure, and natural resource restoration. The landfill operated from 1952 to 1971, but it was never capped or officially closed, prompting illegal dumping over decades.  The landfill closure included excavating and redistributing about 375,000 cubic yards of solid waste and soil into the center of the landfill, installing a passive gas venting system, and constructing a two-foot-thick semi-permeable cap of clean fill material. In addition, more than 375,000 plants, shrubs, and trees were installed throughout the park.

    The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, is proud to have provided over $26 million in Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Funding (HDSRF)to the Cramer Hill Waterfront Brownfield Development Area. This area includes both The Salvation Army Kroc Center, a community center that opened in 2014, and the Cramer Hill Waterfront Park, which opened last year.  The Salvation Army Kroc Center project was awarded the USEPA Region 2 Phoenix Award in 2015.

    The transformation from landfill to park not only restored and enhanced the environment, but also restored the communities’ direct access to the waterfront, which has been non-existent for almost seven decades.  This project is great example of how of brownfields revitalization, environmental justice, and climate resilience can work together to improve communities. Olivette Simpson, Interim Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of the Camden Redevelopment Agency.

    Posted September 19, 2022

  • 19 Sep 2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE Board Member, Linda Shaw, Esq. of Knauf Shaw shared this...  

    I attended the "Revitalizing the Community" mobile workshop in the East Side African American neighborhood of Oklahoma City, and heard the most interesting anti-gentrification business model for a project spearheaded by a development firm called Pivot.  

    The project rehabilitated several auto repair facilities and a gas station into a grocery store and other small retail units (pizza shop, cannabis store, yoga studio, and some small offices).  Instead of using a traditional broker, Pivot offered brokerage fees to members in the community who assisted the developers in finding African American entrepreneur tenants.  

    Pivot was then able to fill up the entire project with 100% minority-owned entrepreneurs. After a year of successful rental history, Pivot provided the minority business owners 15% ownership in their respective rental unit.  The grocery store that was part of this project in the former gas station space was being run by a not-for-profit that partnered with a large grocery store and some local farms to provide fresh food.  It was a very interesting successful project and a new urban hotel across the street is their next planned project!         

    Posted September 19, 2022

  • 19 Sep 2022 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rick Shoyer, Montrose EnvironmentalBCONE was well represented at the National Brownfields Conference held in Oklahoma City, OK on August 15-19, 2022.  I had the opportunity to speak on State Brownfield Associations & Collaborative Partnerships. My fellow presenters were the Past President of the Alabama Brownfields Association (ABA), Trey Noland, and Jason Lichtstein, Esq., the two-time past president of the Florida Brownfields Association (FBA). We discussed the benefits of having a robust brownfields association, the basic structures of each and the challenges of leading a non-profit,  mostly volunteer program.  BCONE's multi-state organization explained the added challenges and benefits of our regional approach.  BCONE's regulatory committee allows for regulators to openly share the pros and cons of their State programs.  BCONE's educational and scholarship committee also reaches across state boundaries where BCONE actively participates at a number of colleges,  providing guest speakers for environmental-related courses; assisting with training programs; placing graduates into careers; and providing scholarships for inspiring students. 

    BCONE was also at the National Brownfields Conference supporting EPA's Region IV TAB (Technical Assistance for Brownfields) provider, ICMA.  BCONE provides technical assistance to ICMA under its current USEPA TAB contract.  BCONE representatives provided assistance with several of EPA's TAB Region IV open houses and meet the TAB coordinators.  We were able to meet with, and listen to, representatives from many rural communities on their challenges with redeveloping and revitalizing their communities. Listening to the needs and then explaining what USEPA programs are available, ways they may be able to take full advantage of the programs, and ways the TAB program can assist their community needs was discussed at these sessions. 

    You’ll be hearing from me soon with a summary of BCONE’s Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop (NSCW), held a month after the National Conference.  You’ll notice similarities between the hot regional topics (emerging and forever contaminants, environmental justice, for example) covered at NSCW and the national topics that were covered in OK.  BCONE continues to strive to be your best source of useful local, state, regional, and national brownfields information to assist your vision and projects.  

    In addition to being BCONE's President, Rick Shoyer is a Senior Project Consultant in the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Division at Montrose Environmental. 

    Posted September 19, 2022

  • 19 Sep 2022 9:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Savanna Marino and Julia Farr, GEI Consultants, Inc.

    Savanna Marino, GIT at GEI Consultant’s New York City office reports that she had the privilege of attending the 2022 National Brownfields Training Conference, supporting the Region 4 Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) provider.  “We kicked off the week with the Environmental Justice (EJ) Caucus, where participants had the opportunity to discuss EJ topics in breakout groups with the goal of sharing ideas with the conference sponsor, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” To facilitate this process, Savanna’s role was notetaker.  “Alongside the group facilitator, I listened, learned, and contributed to the discussion on Equitable Developments, then presented the groups findings to the room of 240+ organizations and administrators.  This was such an amazing event, which was then followed by a week of awesome and informative sessions by professionals from a range of factions/parties in and around Brownfields.  The topics covered in these sessions were topical and significant, touching on real issues involving not only the Brownfields industry, but the communities affected by these properties.  All of the attendees and presenters were so welcoming, and in particular, the Women in Brownfields session was uplifting, raw and inspiring.”

    Julia Farr, EIT at GEI’s Woburn MA office calls the National Brownfields Conference in Oklahoma City, OK “an eye-opening experience and a great way to connect various technical and environmental professionals with small and large communities looking to transform their brownfield properties. This was my first time being at a professional conference as well as travelling to Oklahoma. It was inspiring to me how they were able to tie together the unique and various cultures of the Midwest and the state of Oklahoma with the national effort to remediate contaminated sites and repurpose them.”

    Julia learned that the reasons for doing so are endless, but “it is important to allow the community to drive the project and be the leading voice, while we, as engineers and government agencies, provide aid as part of their tool kit.”   Savanna and Julia were at the conference on behalf of ICMA to help them support communities in EPA Region 4.  Julia reports that she attended the daily sessions and learned about hot topics in Brownfields; like it was for Savanna, the Women in Brownfields roundtable was “a very powerful conversation!” for Julia.  Perhaps the most rewarding part of the experience was meeting with the community leaders during the meet the TAB session and learning about their needs and “how we can help them achieve their community goals. Their immense appreciation for our support put into perspective the impact we can make by pursuing these projects and providing assistance.” On the last day of the conference, she  visited the First American Museum, winner of the 2022 Phoenix Awards. The museum was vibrant and interactive, bringing knowledge and awareness to the community of Native American history.  Julia  aspires to work on transformative projects such as that  one in her career.

    Savanna and Julia are looking forward to the 2023 National Brownfields Training Conference in Detroit.

    Posted September 19, 2022

  • 08 Sep 2022 3:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Melissa Dulinski, NJEDA

    BCONE members: Linda Shaw, Elizabeth Limbrick and Lee Hoffman, led a roundtable discussion at the 2022 National Brownfields Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  This truly interactive discussion on "Hot Topics for Remediation and Revitalization" highlighted a broad set of issues that compared and contrasted programs and initiatives across several regions. 

      

    The panelists kicked off the discussion and led a diverse group of professionals in a lively exchange of ideas.  Discussions focused on brownfield tax credit programs, new brownfield funding opportunities, liability protection enhancements, emerging contaminants and their impacts on current remediations and existing redevelopments, sustainability and climate change resiliency initiatives. 

    Editor’s Note:  BCONE is all about Hot Topics and sharing information among everyone.  If you are attending the NSCW in Stamford on Sept. 13 and 14, 2022, there is an exciting Hot Topics panel kicking off the event. 

    Posted September 8, 2022

  • 24 Aug 2022 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “A critical meeting of professionals”   

    By Jeanette Myers 

    Commerce and Industry New Jersey’s (CIANJ’S) Energy and Climate Change Summit centered on the current plans, policies, and programs being developed and outlined for New Jersey to address the climate change crisis. Even if the Earth’s countries were all presently 100% emissions-free, the lag time would be approximately 50 years before severe climate change effects would neutralize. Jeannette Myers, a recent environmental science graduate from Stockton University, attended the event for the BCONE. 

    Governor Murphy’s NJ Energy Master Plan outlines policy for a 100% clean energy future by 2050. NJDEP Commissioner Mr. Shawn LaTourette, stated that New Jersey is and will continue to use scientific thought and understanding, incentives, and updates to outdated regulatory responses to pollution to realize the Master Plan’s goals.  

    Pollution reduction will result from the use of non-fossil fuels, with increases in solar, wind, biogas, as well as nuclear energy sources. Nuclear energy sources are to be increased to 15% of total energy consumption, with 60% coming from solar. Another major change involves the use of electric-powered vehicles. The Department of Energy will incentivize electric vehicle purchases. Reduction of New Jersey’s ecological footprint will positively impact the economy, which  will thrive due to the amount of labor, new infrastructure, and new materials be needed to provide for the carbon-free emission products and services.  

    Jane Cohen, Executive Director of the NJ Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, Chair of the Interagency Council, described the plans of instituting wind turbines for energy along the eastern seaboard of the United States, from Maine to New Jersey. Again, the win-win of increasing economic development by providing new jobs, while reducing emissions was emphasized 

    Ms. Myers asked if the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) if the implementation of anaerobic digestion for animal waste has been considered as a viable zero emission waste management procedure. Methane can be captured through the anaerobic digestion process and then used as an energy source. The remaining biomass produced can be used as crop fertilizer as well as for other uses. There would still be carbon emissions, but Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, discussed with Ms. Myers the newest development in sewage treatment facilities wherein the use of anerobic digestion is becoming a favorable methane emission-reducing solution.  Methanol added to the organic waste mixture creates dimethyl ether, a nontoxic gas biofuel.  (Anaerobic digestion is not one of the methods BPU is entertaining now.)

    The Summit and its excellent mix of speakers is the type of meeting crucial for the cross-communication amongst all areas of commerce, business, and politics.

    Editor’s Note:  Who is Jeanette Myers? A recent graduate of Stockton University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Ms. Myers is impassioned about making a positive difference in the quality of the Earth's environment. She has attended events of this organization and volunteered her time, so you may have met her. In accordance with our mission as an organization, reach out to her (jeanettemyers@comcast.net), if you are looking to hire. We also encourage you to ask other recent graduate to write articles for us.

    Posted August 24, 2022

  • 24 Aug 2022 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The attendance numbers were amazing.  Members of the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast  (BCONE) and the NYC Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP)  were there!  Can you pick them out of the photo?


    The brainstorming session produced this action plan: many of the topics will sound familiar to attendees of the Women in Environmental Professions sessions held by BCONE, NYCBP, SWEP and LSRPA.

    1. Get to the microphone; 
    2. Get on Boards;
    3. Promote each other; 
    4. Send up flares and ask for help; 
    5. Stay focused; 
    6. Delegate; 
    7. Be the community voice; 
    8. Value women; 
    9. Youth to rise up; 
    10. Get the most out of formal professional organizations:  write articles; post on social media; mentor; join the leadership.

    Our next Women in Environmental Professions virtual event is being held on November 1, 2022.  Join us.

    Posted August 24, 2022

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