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EPA and the Center for Creative Land Recycling to hold Brownfields Redevelopment Events in Puerto Rico

Free Workshops to be Held in San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez

04/29/2019
Contact Information: 
Brenda Reyes , (reyes.brenda@epa.gov)
787-977-5869
Tayler Covington (covington.tayler@epa.gov )
212-637-3662

EPA and the Center for Creative Land Recycling to hold Brownfields Redevelopment Events in Puerto Rico 
Free Workshops to be Held in San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez 

Contacts: Brenda Reyes, 787-977-5869, reyes.brenda@epa.gov   
        Tayler Covington, 212-637-3662, covington.tayler@epa.gov 
 
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – In its continuing efforts to help the Caribbean recover from the long-term impacts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) will host the Fifth Brownfields Redevelopment Week from May 7 to May 9 in San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez.  The event is free of charge and provides municipalities, non-governmental organizations, and communities the tools necessary to revitalize their neighborhoods. 
 
“Revitalizing abandoned properties or brownfield sites is an EPA priority. This work exemplifies what can be achieved when we use our available resources to actively address challenges of sustainability in our communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Brownfields development improves local economies and creates an environment where jobs can grow. We are proud to be partners with the people of Puerto Rico.”
 
EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to municipalities, local government agencies, and non-governmental organizations to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse abandoned and/or contaminated properties. During the events, experts in planning, federal funding, redevelopment and investment will discuss a variety of themes, including: trends in abandoned properties in Puerto Rico, how local governments be engaged, and lessons learned in brownfield redevelopment.
 
The economic crisis that Puerto Rico has experienced for the last decade, along with the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and María, have left the island with many abandoned commercial and industrial properties. According to public data from the EPA, Puerto Rico has 152 Brownfields properties registered in its 78 municipalities. Many of these properties, at the time, housed industries whose manufacturing processes may have used hazardous or polluting substances, as well as petroleum products.  
 
During the event, staff from multiple federal agencies, including the Economic Development Administration, FEMA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, and EPA will share information about how their programs and resources can help support local recovery and redevelopment priorities, from housing to infrastructure development, flood management, resilience and mitigation planning, amongst other topics. A discussion will also be held on current trends and emerging challenges on Opportunity Zones, at the local and national level, and how the local governments can make this work for their advantage.
 
EPA’s Brownfields Program promotes partnerships between communities, federal government and state government with non-governmental organizations, universities, developers, investors, and the banking industry. These alliances are key in the request of funds since each one contributes an area of experience that is important for the success of the project.
 
The meeting in San Juan will be held in the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, May 7, at Catholic University in Ponce on Wednesday, May 8, and at the School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus on Thursday May 9. 
 
HOW TO REGISTER:
For more information regarding registration or questions of these events, please contact the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) at info@cclr.org (email) or visit their website at www.cclr.org. EPA’s contact for the workshops can be a reached 787-977-5865.  
 
For information about the EPA’s Brownfields programs, please visit https://www.epa.gov/brownfields  
 
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