FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2013
DEP DISTRICT OFFICE HOSTS NORTHEAST FLORIDA BROWNFIELDS WORKSHOP
~Workshop provides discussion forum for those interested in brownfields information~
70 public officials, consultants, land owners and developers participated in
the DEP Northeast District’s Brownfields Workshop.
JACKSONVILLE- The Florida
Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast District hosted the Northeast
Florida Brownfields workshop at the Adam W. Herbert University Center at the
University of North Florida on Friday, July 12. The free workshop - attended
by approximately 70 people - aimed to inform stakeholders and interested community members
of the economic, legal and practical benefits of brownfield redevelopment.
Local leaders with practical
experience in cleaning up and redeveloping these sites also presented on
several more in-depth elements
of brownfield redevelopment, including the Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus
Incentive Program, brownfield-area designation procedure and regional planning.
A brownfield site is a property where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be
complicated by the presence or potential presence of environmental pollution.
The Department’s Brownfields Program Manager, Kim Walker, also partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mary Beth Van Pelt to give a “Brownfields 101” presentation.
Attendees had the opportunity to engage in discussions with fellow attendees as
well as industry experts through panel discussions.
"The Department, along with
the EPA and Florida Brownfields Association had an opportunity to share success
stories, grant opportunities, a legislative update and incentive program
details in order to promote re-development of actual or perceived contamination," said Northeast District Assistant Director Jim
facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, increases local tax
bases and removes development pressures on open land, all while providing
greater protections for Florida’s natural resources."
The Florida Brownfields Program
facilitates redevelopment and job creation by empowering communities, local
governments and other stakeholders to work together to assess, clean up and
reuse sites that have been previously impacted by pollutants. The program
focuses on the cleanup of
contaminated sites and economic redevelopment associated with brownfield sites. To
make the program's incentives available to a community, a local government must
designate a brownfield area by resolution. Local governments have designated
342 current brownfield areas statewide that equal nearly 235,000 acres.
This program utilizes economic and regulatory incentives to encourage
the use of private revenue to restore and redevelop sites, create new jobs and
boost the local economy. The Department is also responsible for awarding
tax credits to encourage participants to conduct voluntary cleanup of
brownfield sites. In 2013, the Department approved more than $5.44 million in
Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credits for site rehabilitation work completed in
designated brownfield areas in 2012.
Since its inception in 1997,
the program has helped clean up 64 contaminated sites, confirmed and projected
more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs and made roughly $2.7 billion in
capital investment for designated brownfield areas, according to data in the
soon to be released Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Program 2012-2013