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  • 09 Sep 2019 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many thanks to BCONE Board Member Alan Miller of NJDEP for presenting on the CCI and thanks also to Advisory Council Member Neil Yoskin, Esq. of Cullen and Dykman LLP for his wonderful writeup.  If you missed the breakfast and the recent newspaper coverage about the CCI, here is what you need to know about the program.

    The Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) originated organically in the late 2000s from NJDEP’s Brownfield Development Area (BDA) in Camden, NJ.  BDA manager Frank McLaughlin of DEP began to integrate brownfields redevelopment with other environmental challenges like combined sewage overflow  (CSO) flooding and lack of community access to the waterfront. It was expanded to other cities as a pilot program: DEP looked for locations where BDAs and CSOs overlapped, and identified eleven candidate cities, notably Perth Amboy and Trenton.  CCI is undergoing a major expansion into several cities in Southern New Jersey this month (September, 2019).

    The CCI Program helps make  good projects great and  addresses environmental challenges, economic development, and quality of life issues. The CCI approach involves DEP as a partner, not a regulator. One of the  significant differences between CCI and other programs is that a DEP representative is embedded as part of the team. Alan Miller, for example,  is embedded in Bayonne. Also, the municipality sets the CCI priorities, not DEP.

    CCI is a collaborative process: across local and state government and across agencies.  It is housed in DEP’s  Site Remediation Program for administrative purposes and reports to Director Ken Kloo.  Another state organization, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) has funded a program expansion.  Current CEO of EDA, Tim Sullivan, has a strong background in brownfields from his experience in NY and CT and BCONE has had the pleasure of working with Mr. Sullivan over the years in his many roles. EDA and DEP are partners on many programs, including brownfield loans and grants. The Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Local Government Services can play a role in the process, as can qualified Opportunity Zones.

  • 29 Aug 2019 6:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer 

    Officials in Plainfield, Conn. are being schooled. And as they are, they’re hoping that the guidance leads to the creation of a local land bank and subsequent redevelopment of a long-abandoned mill property in the community.

    Officials are using a compelling report to attract both cleanup money and developers to what’s currently a “burned-out” site. The community of Plainfield this summer was busy assessing how to best proceed with an environmental cleanup game plan at the former InterRoyal Mill property, with the assistance of a university-sponsored report dubbed the “Summary of Existing Environmental Conditions and Remedial Suggestions.” 

    Compiled by students and staff at the University of Connecticut’s geo-environmental engineering course—part of the brownfield assessment initiative—the draft was rich with new examinations of the InterRoyal Mill property, with UConn assessments combined with previously reported data from a 2016 assessment conducted by a separate party. 

    BCONE members know well how the university located in Storrs has made a strong commitment to best-practices brownfields: Witness the work conducted within UConn’s CT Brownfields Initiative (CBI) that draws in students across engineering, environmental, geology, real estate and consulting fields of study.  

    It’s this commitment that saw a team of four UConn CBI students earn the second Charlie Bartsch Brownfield Scholarship award in early 2019. The award was established by BCONE to honor the legacy of Bartsch, the renaissance brownfield specialist who passed in 2017.

    The winning team of four students had been assigned to the town of Stafford, Conn. But, the CBI work transcends what was gleaned in Stafford. CBI students also performance environmental assessment duties in the towns of Clinton, Groton and Manchester.

    Oh, and Plainfield too, which brings us back to the report summarizing the conditions at the 16-acre InterRoyal property. The document offered suggestions on remediation work recommended for potential private developers to take under advisement and then move the ball forward on an environmental cleanup plan. 

    “This is information we need to apply for more state or federal grant money,” said Plainfield First Selectwoman Cathy Tendrich. “It’s also the type of information companies ask us for when they call about developing the property.”

    The 25-page UConn summary identifies 19 “areas of concern,” or AOCs, including waste paint sludge deposits, asbestos-impregnated basement areas, stagnant reservoir pools and old petroleum tanks. Those areas were noted in previous assessments as containing contaminated soil or groundwater.

    The report pegged 10 of the AOCs for further investigation through sampling, screening and other testing. Those studies are estimated to cost roughly $70,000.

    The report found remediation work is needed in at least 11 AOCs, work which would include soil evacuation, de-watering work and reservoir filling.

    The question on how to address the InterRoyal property has been a sticking point for local leaders for years, even before a 2005 fire swept through the site. The 16.6-acre site houses a burned-out structure framed by dense overgrowth where soil and ground water has absorbed pools of caustic chemicals and whose infrastructure is riddled with asbestos, lead paint and mercury.

    ″(The site) has been subject to more than 20 environmental investigations, actions and removals of hazardous substances in the last 30 years,” the report states.

    First Selectwoman Tendrich said despite the slow pace of cleanup at the property, the town regularly fields calls from potential developers about the mill.

    According to a local news report, Tendrich and Planning & Zoning Supervisor Mary Ann Chinatti are hoping a plan to create a new “Eastern Connecticut Land Bank” will offer a clear way to come up with the $8 to $11 million cleanup price tag. “Under that plan, the nonprofit land bank would essentially take over the property listing and solicit private and foundation donations and grants for remediation,” Chinatti said. “Once the property is cleaned, it can come back to us or to developers.”

    The proposed land bank needs to clear several hurdles before it’s created, the local news report states. “For something like this, that covers brownfields across Eastern Connecticut, you need, among other things, an IRS authorization, letters of support from two local municipalities and be designated a 501c3 nonprofit,” Chinatti said. “And it needs to be certified from the Department of Economic Community Development.”

    Chinatti said forming such a land bank doesn’t preclude a private entity from coming in first and developing the property independently. “Once that mill property is developed, that leads to downtown revitalization,” she said.

    Donate to the Charlie Bartsch Brownfield Scholarship Fund

  • 22 Jul 2019 5:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Sam Bojarski, Sewickley Herald (PA)

    An advisory council composed of regional stakeholders are meeting to determine the future of the former Shenango Coke Works on Neville Island. Operations ceased on the 50-acre development in early 2016.

    With the help of grant funding, the nonprofit Delta Institute is facilitating the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council. The volunteer body consists of local leaders who will craft guiding principles and use public input to guide future use of the brownfield site. The property is currently owned by DTE Energy.

    For the entire article, see

    https://sewickley.triblive.com/council-formed-to-reimagine-former-shenango-site/


  • 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

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