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EPA’s 2019 National Brownfields Training Conference Wraps Up in Los Angeles California

12/13/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (December 13, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded the 2019 Brownfields National Training Conference in Los Angeles, California. EPA cohosted the event with the International City/County Management Association.

Under the Trump Administration, EPA’s Brownfield and Land Revitalization Program has provided approximately $222 million directly to communities and nonprofits, for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation and economic development through the award of approximately 793 grants. The agency has also allocated $139.8 million to approximately 171 state and tribal entities to establish and enhance their brownfields response programs. These grants provide communities with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes.

“Finding ways to revitalize vacant, abandoned, contaminated or potentially contaminated properties is at the heart of EPA’s cleanup programs,” said EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management Assistant Administrator Peter Wright. “EPA is proud to have sponsored this national conference, which provided our brownfields communities and stakeholders with an unparalleled opportunity to learn how to build and improve local programs.”

More than 2,032 stakeholders in cleanup and redevelopment attended this year’s conference to learn from each other about sustainable reuse of brownfield sites and share success stories from across the country. Participants included representatives from communities, non-profits, real estate development, the building industry, and academic institutions, as well as local, state, tribal and federal government leaders.

This week’s conference provided a dynamic educational program of speakers, discussions, mobile workshops, films and other learning formats. Case study examples, program updates, and useful strategies were provided to help attendees meet various brownfield challenges head on. Topics covered at the event included:

  • Success Stories from the Environmental Justice Communities
  • Sustainability, Livability, Resiliency
  • Financing Options, Real Estate, & Economic Development
  • Smart Cities and Communities
  • Community Engagement and Environmental Justice
  • State, Tribal and Local Government Programs and Partnerships
  • Liability and Enforcement
  • Cleanup and Remediation Approaches
  • Small Communities and Rural Places

"It was another incredible week in Los Angeles with brownfielders from across the world coming together in common purpose to elevate our one and only built-environment, said Dan French, Founder and CEO of Brownfield Listings, LLC.  “I'm going home again this year rejuvenated with fresh ideas to consider and so many new colleagues to follow up with."

“This is the third Brownfields Conference I’ve been to and by far the best one, with great speakers, great presentations and the content was relevant,” said Mark Junker, Tribal Response Coordinator for the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri, in Kansas and Nebraska. “The only problem is that I wish there was two of me, so I could see more.”

“I’m really excited to be here and present on concepts around communities because brownfields are more than just the place, they are also about the people who live near them, and the transformation that can happen for the community if they’re properly engaged, especially in the Brownfields-to-Healthfields projects, said Amy Dinn, Environmental Justice Team, Managing Attorney, for Lone Star Legal Aid, in Houston, Texas.

 “The National Brownfields Training Conference is a can’t miss event for professionals who wrestle every day with the challenge of remediation and redevelopment of underutilized properties,” said Bruce Rasher, Redevelopment Manager, RACER Trust. “The skills, training and networking provided at the conference are critical to the success of land owners and communities that benefit when these properties are cleaned up and reused.”

“I was surprised to find just how much I could learn about aspects of the brownfields community that are adjacent to, but don’t directly apply, to my field of work in Remediation,” said first-time attendee, Alex Puetz, geological engineer with Barr Engineering Co., Edina, Minnesota. “It’s been great.”

“CCLR is proud to have been able to help organize and participate in making Brownfields2019 a spectacular success,” said Sarah Sieloff, Executive Director of Center for Creative Land Recycling. “To be able to network and share our work with so many national colleagues was a highlight of our conference experience.” 

The conference is held approximately every two years and is the largest event in the nation focused on cleaning up and reusing formerly used commercial and industrial properties in communities across the country.

For more information on the conference visit: https://brownfields2019.org/

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields