FORT MYERS – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s South District, in partnership with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, hosted the Third Annual Southwest Florida Brownfield Symposium on Friday, March 20. The workshop touted the economic, legal and practical aspects of brownfield redevelopment in Southwest Florida.
“The Third Annual Brownfield Symposium was a great success—bringing local governments, EPA, DEP, environmental consultants, environmental attorneys and local businesses together to foster brownfield partnerships to address contamination cleanup and economic development,” said Jennifer Carpenter, assistant director of DEP’s South District.
The Florida Brownfield Redevelopment Program focuses on contaminated site cleanup and economic redevelopment associated with brownfield sites. The program facilitates redevelopment and job creation by empowering communities, local governments and other stakeholders to work together to assess, cleanup and reuse sites previously impacted by pollutants. To make the program’s incentives available to a community, a local government must designate a brownfield area by resolution. Local governments have designated 376 current brownfield areas statewide.
More than 80 participants heard from local leaders with experience in cleanup, reinvesting in Brownfield properties, and the protection of human health and the environment. Kim Walker, environmental administrator and brownfield program manager discussed the department’s role in brownfield redevelopment and cleanup.
Vendors and sponsors of this event include Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, Cardno, EnviroProbe Service, Inc., Biovation Environmental Services LLC, Engineering and Scientific Investigation and PPM Consultants.
“The Third Annual Southwest Florida Brownfield Symposium was a complete success thanks to the sponsors, participants and supporting agencies,” said Jennifer Pellechio, deputy director, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. “The topic-driven educational symposium offered expanded knowledge of how to leverage opportunities associated with Brownfield. We can’t wait to co-host this again with DEP next year.”
Since inception of the program in 1997, $2.7 billion in capital investment has been projected in designated brownfield areas and 75 contaminated sites have been cleaned up. More than 50,000 confirmed and projected direct and indirect jobs have been created. Through Aug. 1, 2014, 280 projected new direct jobs, 423 projected new indirect jobs and $11 million in projected new capital investment can be attributed to the program within the 2014 calendar year. To learn more about the Brownfield Redevelopment Program, click here.
DEP’s Northwest District will be hosting its Third Annual Brownfield Redevelopment Forum on June 11, 2015 in Callaway. For more information, click here.