2017 Brownfield Seminar

GBA welcomed a sold-out crowd to its third annual Brownfield Seminar at Georgia Power on April 20, 2017

At the Georgia Brownfield’s third annual day-long seminar, a sold-out crowd benefitted from a range of technical presentations – and heard from Georgia economic development and environmental protection leaders.

Attending last year’s conference made Georgia Power’s Mark Berry appreciate the importance of the Georgia Brownfield Association, he said. The company’s vice president of environmental affairs welcomed the brownfield professionals gathered at the company’s headquarters, saying: “You are transforming places to productive use for our communities.”

Georgia Power’s Manager of Research and Engineering Research, Jennifer Zeller, highlighting the sites across Georgia that are attracting new and expanding businesses, cited transportation infrastructure and talent as the magnets for investment. She shared with the audience that 2016 was the strongest year on record for economic development in Georgia – and 2017 is so far outpacing 2016. Her team presented Georgia Power’s development of a GIS-based tool to identify, analyze and rank developable sites in Georgia communities.

“What you do is priceless,” Georgia Power’s Ricardo Placios told the gathered brownfield professionals, “You make sites viable, which important because we are running out of sites. Brownfield sites have invaluable infrastructure assets in place.”

And in updates from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and from the state legislators who chair the natural resources committees in the house and senate, Georgia Brownfield Seminar attendees heard:

  • 2017 will be characterized as risk assessment year – reviewing how the agency can address disparity in risk assessment across all remediation programs;
  • the flow of brownfield site remediation applications remains strong, which is a potential challenge in the face of proposed federal budget cuts; and
  • there will be increased scrutiny of brownfield cost certifications.

Georgia EPD Director Rick Dunn, declaring “I am a big supporter of our brownfield program,” observed that this is a particularly good time to be focused on brownfield redevelopment. He described an opportune intersection of a national focus on investment and a market demand for walkable urban sites. What makes more sense, Director Dunn asked, than reusing existing infrastructure? And the demand is strong for investment in areas in which brownfields typically are found.

Director Dunn, observing that much of the low-hanging fruit has been picked with sites in desirable locations with relatively low contamination, challenged the gathering of brownfield professionals to work with EPD to determine how redevelopment of “browner” brownfields might be redeveloped. He asked them to consider what incentives and tools might be required. And Director Dunn similarly challenged the group to consider how to push redevelopment out to smaller towns and cities where the effect of disinvestment has been great, including putting pressure on agricultural and forest land.

 

PRESENTATIONS

Economic Development: An update about investment and relocation trends, as well as the current state of the market. Jennifer Zeller, Georgia Power; Jeff DeWitt, Georgia Power; and Ricardo Palacios, Georgia Power Click here and here for the presentations.

Regulatory Update: A regulatory, policy, and legislative update on the Georgia environmental programs that affect redevelopment. Beth Blalock, Ga. EPD; Jeff Cown, Ga. EPD; and Shannon Ridley, Ga. EPD Click here for the presentation.

State of GA legislative update: Senator Frank Ginn and Representative Lynn Smith

 

Building Demolition on Brownfield Sites: Environmental Risks: A focus on the environmental risks – as well as the sustainability aspects – of decommissioning and demolition. Robert Rivera, ERM Click here for the presentation.

Brownfields to Green: A Proposal for Redevelopment of Brownfields Property for Natural Resource Value: A discussion about how mitigation banking and solar fields could provide not only additional environmental benefits, but also an alternative profitable use for remediated sites, which could potentially bring a new type of developer to the brownfield program. Tara Disy Allden, Kimley-Horn; David Goldman, Kimley-Horn; Bill Spinner, Kimley-Horn; and Anthony Coker, Hannah Solar LLC Click here and here for the presentations.

Keynote presentation: GA EPD Director Rick Dunn

Using VRP Risk-based Features at Qualified Brownfield Sites: A discussion of the draft whitepaper that GBA submitted to GA EPD in 2016 regarding how the interpretation of the Georgia Brownfield Program (GBP) and the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) laws could encourage even more redevelopment of brownfield properties across Georgia. Dan Grogan, Amec Foster Wheeler

Spotlight on Georgia’s Coast: An update on redevelopment along Georgia’s coast, as well as highlight a few current projects that are cleaning up contaminated properties and spurring additional economic development. Stewart Dixon, Terracon Click here for the presentation.

The East Bank of the Flats: A lesson in vapor intrusion mitigation for large-scale buildings: A case study of The East Flats, a $750 million project along the shores of the Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, showcasing how to approach a large-scale vapor intrusion mitigation project. Tony McDonald, A-Z Solutions Click here for the presentation.

Brownfields Breaking Boundaries: Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Program Expands: A discussion of the process to qualify for GRAD Shovel-Ready status including due diligence standards, third-party review, and steering committee approval and an update on the certification of Georgia’s first GRAD-certified Brownfield. Presented by: Jason Dunn, Fitzgerald and Ben Hill Co. Development Authority; Scott McMurray, Georgia Department of Economic Development; and Keith Ziobron, Resolute Environmental & Water Resources Consulting Click here for the presentation.

Sandy Spring Government Complex Case Study: Brownfield coordination for a local government public private development site: A panel discussion about controlling what can become a complicated process when state regulators, city officials, environmental consultants, and contractors together navigate through the Brownfield process. Bryant Poole, City of Sandy Springs and Russell Griebel, United Consulting Click here for the presentation.


 

2016 Brownfield Seminar

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Below is a recap of the 2016 Brownfield Seminar sessions, as well as links to session PPT presentations.

Partnership Strategies for In-town RevitalizationChronic disinvestment leaves communities with complex brownfield and aging infrastructure situations that seem impossible to revive. Fostering local, state, and federal partnerships to encourage and incentivize private sector investments that build on a cooperative environment lead to improving the livability and sustainability of a community. This session panel explored partnerships and identifies resources for tax incentives, affordable and workforce housing, grassroot support and other means leading to successful redevelopment.
Brownfield Redevelopment of Fort McPherson: Fort McPherson, an approximately 480acre former Army Base in the southern portion of metropolitan Atlanta, is being redeveloped by multiple parties for multiple purposes, including a 308acre film and production complex for Tyler Perry Studios (TPS) and a mixed use development including 200,000 square feet of retail for underserved southwest Atlanta neighborhoods. This session explored why redevelopment of large former defense facilities do not need to take a single-project/single-use approach, and how they can support multiple uses and solutions to best utilize the space available and serve the surrounding community.
USEPA Region IV and State of Georgia Regulatory Update: This session provided a regulatory, policy and legislative update on the Georgia environmental programs that affect redevelopment including the Hazardous Site Response (HSRA), Brownfields and the Voluntary Remediation Programs. The panelists provided valuable insight into USEPA Region IV Brownfield Programs and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Land Protection Branch redevelopment trends.

Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Variables, Best Practices, and Innovative Technologies: A conversation about the influence of building footprint on soil gas sub-slab vapor migration, best practices for the design and operation of effective and sustainable soil depressurization systems, and mitigation via aerated floors.

Economic DevelopmentAn update from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Global Commerce about investment and relocation trends, as well as the current state of the market.


Georgia Brownfield Association’s 2015 Brownfield Seminar

Thanks to all who attended GBA’s inaugural Brownfield Seminar! It was a huge success. Click here for more information about speakers and to view their presentations.

Below are photos from the 2015 Brownfield Seminar. Click here to view speaker presentations.


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