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  • 09 Jul 2019 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Chelsea Barnes, Roanoke Times (VA)

    On a clear day, from the perch of Flag Rock Overlook in Southwest Virginia, you can take in the view of the city of Norton and miles and miles of mountain ridges. The thousands of acres of former surface mines also visible from this vista illustrate the legacy of coal, and present environmental challenges for surrounding communities in a region grappling with high unemployment rates, declining populations, and an opioid epidemic.

    After more than 100 years of mining, it’s clear coal is not coming back to Appalachia as the economic force it once was. The need to fully restore and reclaim these mountain mine lands has never been greater. As the nation’s energy landscape continues rapidly shifting, we could give these mines new life with clean energy technology, spurring job growth and giving our region new hope for a bright future in the 21st century.

    For the entire column, see

    https://www.roanoke.com/opinion/commentary/barnes-from-brownfields-to-brightfields-in-virginia-s-coal-country/article_df7dd0dd-4db1-5bf2-9589-9597d0607df3.html

  • 09 Jul 2019 3:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Jesse J. Smith, Hudson Valley One (NY)

    Newly installed County Executive Pat Ryan said this week that a proposed solar array in Saugerties and an executive order he issued calling on county government to be 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2030 are concrete steps in his campaign trail pledge for a “Green New Deal” for Ulster County.

    Ryan, who took office on June 7 made the announcement at a ceremony Tuesday at the County Office Building in Uptown Kingston.’

    “We are at this decisive moment in our country and of course in our county. On the one side we face a clearly existential climate crisis,” said Ryan, addressing representatives of local environmental groups and reporters. “On the other side we have this huge opportunity in that crisis … to lean into our green and environmental consciousness and be at epicenter of this emerging green economy that’s happening and gaining momentum.”

    For the entire article, see

    https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2019/06/24/county-to-put-up-solar-array-at-saugerties-tire-dump/

  • 10 Jun 2019 2:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By: Sue Boyle, GEI Consultants and Executive Director, BCONE and Barry Hersh, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

    The genesis of the NSCW was the realization that brownfield redevelopment was a regional market; metro New York including NYC and suburbs and parts of CT, NJ and PA. NSCW founders also saw early, before Superstorm Sandy, the connections between sustainable and resilient communities and brownfield redevelopment. A predecessor was called Tri-State Brownfield Conference, but NSCW founders wanted real, free-flowing participation; with many panels, time for discussions, and minimal use of PowerPoints. NSCW is self-sustaining, by and for Brownfielders; affordable- especially for community organizations and government officials, led by significant volunteer effort, with limited contracted staff assistance. 

    NSCW's goal has always been to break new ground, offer new ideas and new concepts on the topics of sustainability, collaboration and leverage, contamination, resiliency, redevelopment challenges, remediation technology, and their impact on community revitalization. Attendees include a vibrant mix of representatives from communities, government, higher education, professional organizations, and laboratories, as well as attorneys, developers, contractors, and consultants. 

    NSCW was never about "stars," but over the years we’ve heard from some notable leaders; the inimitable Charlie Bartsch, Mathy Stanislaus then new Assistant Administrator at USEPA’s OSWER, Ed Chu then of White House Council on Environmental Quality, David Lloyd and others from USEPA. Also numerous NJ, NY and CT State commissioners, New York City’s first OER Director Dan Walsh several times, plus other officials and private brownfield redevelopers such as Joe Cotter, George Vallone and Alexander Durst. For our 10th anniversary we are, as we did the first NSCW, having a representative from the Federal Reserve Bank. 

    Who were the pioneers who created NSCW? Let’s start with Lee Ilan of NY and Sue Boyle NJ, who have volunteered to plan and implement all ten NSCWs and the three Tri-States that preceded. Other original team members over the decade plus include Michael Taylor CT, Colleen Kokas NJ, Gary Rozmus NY, Larry Schnapf NY, Barry Hersh CT, Beth Barton CT, Lee Hoffman CT, Brian Clark PA, and Jill Gaito PA. NJ Society of Women Environmental Professionals (SWEP) was the “official” organizational backstop for contracts in the early years and the long-time sponsor of the networking receptions each year thanks to Jeanne Mroczko, Ms. Kokas and Ms. Boyle’s leadership roles at SWEP. Another NSCW goal is to help further careers, John Orsini worked on sponsorships until finding a new position as a banker.

    Thank you to all of the current, multi-year volunteers, especially Elizabeth Limbrick and Rick Shoyer. Joining them: Jeff Entin, Wanda Monahan, Geoff Forrest, Alan Miller, Sharon McSwieney, Jen Carling, Rob Crespi, Ben Alter, and Trevan Houser. Others who were multi-year, active volunteers in the past include Shira Gidding Shaul and Sarit Platkin of NY, Cristin Mustillo NJ, Hannah Moore NY, Tim Kinsella NJ, Rick Gimello NJ, Jim Mack NJ, Chelsea Albucher NJ, Lya Thoedoratos of USEPA Region 2, Steve Danyew, and Skelly Holmbeck.

    NSCW always sought locations with good mass transit: 2009 and 2010 were held at NJIT, Newark NJ; we experimented with a half-day session in 2011 at Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport, CT; and 2012 returned to the Big Apple at John Jay College as NSCW, not Tri-State. The goal was to move around geographically in the region, but it also became clear that the location needed to be close to the core group of volunteers, which is why NJ is the most frequent location. BCONE as an incorporated non-profit organization took NSCW under its wing 2014 for contractual, financial and other infrastructure necessities and added limited but important contracted professional staff resources to supplement our tireless volunteers. NSCW returned to NJ in 2014 at the Liberty Science Center, Jersey City; we crossed the Hudson River again in 2015 to hold NSCW downtown at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, New York City (both were spectacular venues); and we found our home at NJIT for 2016 - 2019. NJIT has been a supportive partner for NSCW and BCONE, thanks to Colette Santasieri, Sean Vroom and Elizabeth Limbrick. Our volunteers and contracted staff are primarily based in NJ so the location works well for their busy schedules. BCONE welcomes events in CT, NY and/or PA if there is volunteer infrastructure to support the event location.

    NSCW began its annual awards in 2017, only a couple of years ago. We also began providing Continuing Education Credits in multiple states thanks to the Rutgers Continuing Education program’s Pamela Springard-Mayer.

    So this 10th Anniversary is worth a walk down the NSCW memory lane and a slice of cake!

    Thank you to Lee Ilan, Colleen Kokas, and Elizabeth Limbrick for providing their memories and electronic files!

  • 03 Jun 2019 3:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    Maybe this is the most fitting epitaph: He was teaching, mentoring, exhorting and encouraging future urban redevelopment students right to the end. Typical Charlie Bartsch.  

    Often answering to “Uncle” from friends and family, Charles Bartsch left us in January 2018. And Dean Jeffery Telego remembers an occurrence not long before his passing of a prime teaching moment about his personal and professional friend. 

    “Charlie’s ability and desire to spend time with young students was awe-inspiring. He was leaving once on an international trip (not long before his passing) and was spending time with students right there at Union Station, going over what they needed to know about financing a piece of a brownfield development,” says Telego, president of RTM Communications Inc. & Risk Management Technologies Inc. in Bethesda, Md., who met Charlie in the early 1990s. 

    The BCONE Charlie Bartsch Memorial Scholarship just selected Danielle Gardner and Kathryn Kavanagh for its third scholarship award and distributed $500 each to Dani and Katie from Lafayette University in PA. They produced the winning Phase 1 Report in the Civil Engineering course entitled Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). One thing Charlie would have loved about this program is the fact that it’s a spot-on way to keep his memory alive, as he was so immersed in academia. 

    So was the scholarship that was distributed to a group of students from The University of Connecticut (UCONN). The four students -- Connor Oakes, Chris Falk, Matthew McKenna, and Caressa Wakeman -- participated in UCONN’s CT Brownfields Initiative (CBI), Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering -- a program tethered directly to the study of this specialized field. The four were awarded $500 each, to be allocated toward tuition fees -- and Charlie would probably have awarded them a heftier sum! 

    The first-ever scholarship to honor Charlie was awarded to Rutgers-Newark student, Ethan Siegenthaler.  Ethan, a geology major,  completed a more traditional scholarship application with an essay that won the BCONE scholarship committee over: it described the impact on his decision to major in geology on both family trips to upstate New York, hiking mountains and closely observing rock formation and their outcroppings and Rutgers-Newark class trips to witness some of the most environmentally-compromised brownfield sites in the country.

    Indeed, Charlie was a professor, author, and mentor to many students from around the world. What was written about him following his untimely passing was this: “Charlie went about his business with passion and proficiency, he built a career with numerous organizations and the Environmental Protection Agency creating and consulting sustainable policies domestic and abroad. Known as an avid international explorer, there were few corners of the world he had yet to discover. From now defunct Soviet Blocs and ancient Khmer ruins to back alley South American markets, Charlie made it a point to climb the highest peaks and touch people's hearts his entire way. His intelligence, want for adventure and generosity knew no bounds.”

    Sums it all up quite well, doesn’t it? Well, there’s far more. 

    I personally “met” Charlie for the first time in 2008, on a speakerphone during a day-long editorial board meeting in Chicago to plan an editorial schedule for the newly launched Brownfield Renewal magazine, of which Charlie served as a board member that included members spanning all fields of brownfield disciplines. Little did I realize that Charlie also specialized in all fields of this industry. He knew all the disparate pieces cold. 

    Truth be told: At the day-long meeting, he had been calling from The Beltway -- or maybe it was Brussels or Bangkok. It was never quite certain. Even from afar, his was the biggest and most influential voice, presence, in the conference room of very accomplished people. 

    Moving forward, we had a chance to chat occasionally when his calendar permitted about what was the “most important thing readers needed to know this month” about the ebbs and flows of the always-changing, mercurial brownfields industry. He knew all aspects and angles cold. His insights were invariably fresh and ultra-relevant -- no, make that prescient as Charlie paced one step ahead of the game.  

    Jeff Telego, who is also a retired co-founder and executive co-director of the Environmental Bankers Association, tells me that the most appropriate collection of adjectives to define Charlie’s essence starts with “bull-dogged tenacity.” Continue with “renaissance professional who blended many diverse areas of specialization, beginning with his economic vision,” Jeff says. 

    Telego regards Charlie’s commitment to students a legacy of new “renaissance students” who could move ahead more confidently in brownfield practice because they can better navigate the complex brownfield “machinery” -- not just a single or double aspect so as to operate in a solo. 

    “Being a renaissance student means having an affinity to blend economics, land use planning, risk management, finance, environmental management and engineering. What I loved doing with Charlie was the integration process of all these different disciplines,” Jeff told me last month. 

    Jeff Telego met Charlie in 1991, and they began to attend national industry conferences to evangelize on how attendees could “learn about managing and transferring environmental risk, including the nuts and bolts about risk-based cleanups and liability buyouts -- and how this all worked from city to city, as each metro area had different circumstances,” Jeff says. 

    He recalls the way Charlie was one of the pioneering people to greatly comprehend the relevance of the public-private partnership, its critical importance to getting brownfield projects off the ground and taken to the finish line. The tax increment financing (TIF) concept was another where Charlie was ahead of the curve, able to break down all its moving parts for those who needed to become immersed in it to succeed. 

    The term “sustainability” is one making the rounds these days. Charlie understood “sustainability” before it was cool, such as the dynamics behind a green and sustainable site cleanup -- to enhance and enrich an element rather than take away from it, deplete it. 

    Jeff Telego says this type of concept is one that appeals to millennials and Gen Xers, who are “wedded with the idea of doing more with less, becoming entirely energy efficient. Kids are returning to urban settings to live, work and play, and seeking comfort defined across several criteria, starting with LEED-certified, energy-efficient buildings. Charlie knew that all these instruments work in tandem.”

    Charlie was a master of comprehending the many vagaries of financing tools: New market tax credits, TIF financing, activation of the RLF (revolving loan fund) and how, say, a manufacturing sector can be a key recipient target of these funds. This has become so vital within the community development endgame: The financing overlays required to bring brownfield projects to fruition, Jeff points out.  

    With the emerging Opportunity Zone concept becoming the newest “flavor of the month,” Jeff wonders aloud how his friend might have had a field day to better champion it, put in his two cents and effect serious impacts. 

    “Charlie and I became kindred spirits, demonstrated with areas like debt financing and equity financing roles to fund projects. There was a time (prior to the market bubble of 2008-09) when many local community banks were eager to build their marketing reputation as the banks that finance brownfields.”

    Students need to be able to tap squarely into these “renaissance,” multi-faceted pillars to see future brownfields through. They also need access to college curriculums that provides more study on sustainable development and need to understand how broad and unwieldy the brownfield market is, develop a firm handle on land use planning tools, both Jeff and I agreed. 

    “Charlie could articulate all of the puzzle pieces to turn around a former Ford assembly plant just as fluently as he could discuss the necessities for a site with underground storage tanks. He had an affinity to build support for the brownfields industry and help ensure that the word got out about what needed to be done to bring projects to fruition,” Jeff concludes. 

    Uncle Charlie would probably say that there’s still much work to be done to that end—and that the current students-as-brownfield-practitioners of tomorrow have a golden opportunity to make a difference.  

  • 29 Mar 2019 2:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A children’s park and a soccer field will soon replace an industrial brownfield, formerly site of the Scientific Glass Factory in Bloomfield, that residents have seen as an eyesore for years. You can read more about this project in this article on NJ.com >> https://www.nj.com/essex/2019/03/nj-town-is-turning-a-former-glass-factory-into-a-waterfront-park.html

  • 27 Mar 2019 4:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Gwen Chamberlain, Penn Yan Chronicle-Express (NY)

    “Beyond frustrating.” That’s how Keuka Moorings developer Chris Iversen describes attempts to get State Attorney General office approval for the Condominium Offering Plan that must be in place to begin marketing the units planned for the former Penn Yan Marine Manufacturing property off Mace Street.

    Iversen has reached out to Penn Yan Village and Yates County officials for their support in the form of letters to the AG’s office for the project, which has been stalled for over a year while Keuka Outlet Development seeks approval.

    Iversen says the only way a brownfield clean-up site can be redeveloped for residential purposes is for condominiums, according to requirements set forth by another state agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.chronicle-express.com/news/20190313/state-frustrates-developer

  • 25 Mar 2019 11:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    EIN Presswire

    Long View Forest, Inc. and Encore Renewable Energy announced today the commissioning of a 745 kilowattpeak (kWp) community solar array on three acres at the new Long View headquarters and woodyard on Ferry Road in Hartland, VT. The project is on a 28-acre remediated “brownfield” property formerly used as a saw mill and lumber treatment facility. Brownfields, because of prior environmental contamination, are deemed prime solar sites under Vermont regulations. 

    The project is expected to produce approximately 900,000 kWh per year, enough to power approximately 125 homes annually. Long View, an employee-owned forest management and contracting company, selected Encore as its turnkey partner to develop and construct the project based on Encore’s proven track record of reclaiming undervalued real estate for community-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. 

    Mascoma Bank, a local leader in sustainability, provided the debt-financing for the project and entered into a long-term agreement to purchase the net metering credits generated by the project. The project first generated electricity in December, and is now generating savings for Mascoma as well as the Montshire Museum of Science located in Norwich, VT. Together, Mascoma and the Montshire Museum of Science will realize approximately $700,000 of savings on their electricity bills over the 25-year term of the 

    For the entire release, see

    https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/479577606/new-community-solar-project-in-hartland-vt-converts-brownfield-to-brightfield

  • 23 Jan 2019 4:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    “This scholarship gave the students even more incentive to work harder. All of them had a steep learning curve about brownfields at the start, but in the end, they learned a lot about how the world works.”

    This quotation represents a compelling case for the power of university-driven on-the-job training initiatives. How a classroom setting indeed accomplishes much but is nothing compared to the power of real-world experience. 

    The insight comes courtesy of Dr. Nefeli Bompoti when we spoke in early January about the team of four University of Connecticut students who became the second set of recipients of the Charlie Bartsch Memorial Brownfield Scholarship, established by BCONE to honor the legacy of Bartsch, the dynamic and well-loved brownfields industry advocate who passed in 2017. Charlie was an “iconic environmentalist who lived life to its fullest.”

    Ms. Bompoti, Ph.D., is the 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.

    The four students—Connor Oakes, Chris Falk, Matthew McKenna and Caressa Wakeman—were awarded $500 each.  They were selected from seven UCONN teams within the CT Brownfields Initiative (CBI). UCONN students who participated hailed from the engineering, environmental, geology, real estate and consulting areas of study. 


    The three judges included Mark Lewis, brownfields coordinator at the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and BCONE’s Vice President,  Don Friday, project manager at the CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Sarah Trombetta, senior project manager at TRC Companies.

    They selected the winning team, which was assigned to the town of Stafford, Conn. The CBI students worked on a semester-long assignment as part of the Brownfield Redevelopment course to prepare EPA assessment grant proposals for seven Connecticut municipalities and regional planning agencies. In addition to Stafford, towns included Clinton, Groton, Manchester and Plainfield, along with the Capitol Region and Southeastern Councils of Government. 

    The UCONN BCONE scholarship follows the first scholarship awarded in the Fall of 2019 to Rutgers University student Ethan Siegenthaler. With two scholarships awarded out by BCONE, the association is in the process of selecting a third,  yet-to-be-determined university in Pennsylvania to partner with this semester.   

    What’s unique about the UCONN commendation is that the CBI program—under the leadership of professors Bompoti and Chrysochoou—is fully committed to fostering brownfield careers for students. 

    “The winning team visited the town of Stafford five times during the semester, conducted phone work and captured many details about the community and the current state of brownfields by getting documents from town hall. Field work included Phase investigations 1,2 and 3. This led to them writing the assessment grant and giving a 15-minutes presentation in class about their efforts. They invested a lot of time on this.”

    The team identified five brownfield sites in Stafford, a town of about 12,000 residents. “One site was an old school with incidence of asbestos and lead paint, while two sites were textile mills. They were in close proximity to waterways,” says Bompoti. “All the groups did an excellent job, and it was hard for the judges to choose.” 

    Stafford is vying for a $300,000 Economic and Community Development grant to address hazardous substances and petroleum cleanup. The grant was to be submitted at the end of January and will be reviewed at the federal level. (Note: The Federal government shutdown, still ongoing as of presstime, could alter the way the grant proposal moves through channels.) 

    One of the towns that was part of the process, Plainfield, spoke highly of the work carried out by the UCONN students. “The students did the legwork, examining sites and going back through previous studies,” said Plainfield planning and zoning supervisor Mary Ann Chinatti. “If we didn’t use this program, we’d have to pay a third-party to do this work.”

    If any BCONE members are interested in seeing the students’ projects, please let sboyle@geiconsultants.com know; if enough folks ask, we’ll make the links available to BCONE members only on the website.

  • 15 Jan 2019 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Residents of New England's former mill towns often feel left behind after manufacturers leave town. But in Lawrence, Mass., locals have refused to let abandoned buildings and polluted landscapes define their future.

    By Story Hinckley, Christian Science Monitor

    When Lesly Melendez recalls her walk to school as a child in Lawrence, Mass., she remembers the six-foot-tall fence cloaked in black cloth and decorated with caution tape. “Keep Out” signs warned passersby away from the so-called Dresden of Lawrence, the burned bones of the former Russell Paper Mill. 

    “As a kid growing up and walking by things like that...,” Ms. Melendez trails off and sighs.

    But her childhood neighborhood looks more appealing today. After years of stop-and-start cleanup, the Russell Mill site is now Oxford Site Park, a green welcome mat for the city. It’s an open space with a bike path. Long grasses bend in the wind, free from any fence. 

    And this park may have helped the city grow opportunity as well as greenery. Lawrence, long one of New England’s poorest and most polluted communities, has become a center for public and nonprofit job training programs. They are certifying locals to clean up brownfields, properties where redevelopment is stalled because of potential pollution.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2019/0111/Lawrence-reborn-A-polluted-mill-town-reclaims-its-future

  • 11 Jan 2019 10:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dunkirk Observer (NY)

    Construction of the new cold storage warehouse for Fieldbrook Foods has begun at 320 South Roberts Road, the former Edgewood Warehouse Brownfield Site in the city of Dunkirk with a target of being in operation this fall.

    Mark Geise, deputy county executive for economic development and chief executive officer of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency noted this is a “big win for the city of Dunkirk” and the county. “After years of blight, this project will result in the cleanup and repurposing of a large brownfield site, resulting in a beautiful, modern new facility that addresses our long-standing shortage of available local cold storage space.”

    The revitalization project includes acquisition, remediation, new construction and equipping of a new 80,000 square foot freezer warehouse. After decades as a contaminated eyesore in the City of Dunkirk, the dilapidated 167,400 square foot Edgewood warehouse on Roberts Road has now been demolished to make way for a brand new cold storage facility to serve Fieldbrook Foods, also located in Dunkirk. Property remediation and abatement is being performed as part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Brownfield Cleanup Program. Site preparation is complete and concrete foundations are underway. The new facility will provide off-site storage for Fieldbrook Foods’ finished frozen dessert products.

    For the entire article, see

    http://www.observertoday.com/news/page-one/2019/01/construction-begins-on-freezer-facility-in-city/

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