FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2014
DEP'S SOUTH DISTRICT HOSTS BROWNFIELD SYMPOSIUM
~Workshop provides discussion forum for those interested in brownfields information~
FORT MEYERS – The Florida Department of
Environmental Protection’s South District educated more than 70 people today about
the environmental and economic benefits of brownfield redevelopment.
Local leaders with practical
experience in cleaning up and redeveloping sites presented several 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
"The brownfield symposium brought together the dynamics to bring new development and jobs to the Southwest Florida region," said Jon Iglehart, Director of DEP's South District. "Along with our State and Federal program speakers, real estate brokers and attorneys, property owners and managers shared the latest in making vacant property ready for reuse."
The Department’s Brownfields
Program Manager, Kim Walker, kicked off the program with a "Brownfields
101" presentation. Barbara Alfano, representing the US Environmental Protection Agency, followed with a
discussion on federal brownfield grants. Other presenters included Heather Squires from Enterprise Florida and representatives from First Capital Realty.
Program facilitates the successful redevelopment of underutilized areas
throughout the state," said Jorge Caspary, Director of the Department's Division of
Waste Management. "This program not only makes it possible to mitigate
contaminated sites, but also creates jobs and stimulates the economy in the
The Florida Brownfields Program
empowers 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 of those 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 356 brownfield areas statewide
totaling nearly 250,000 acres.
Utilizing economic and
regulatory incentives, the Program encourages the use of private revenue to
restore and redevelop sites, create new jobs and boost the local economy. The
Department awards tax credits to encourage participants to conduct voluntary
cleanup of these 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 the inception of the program, 69 contaminated sites have been cleaned up, more than 50,000 confirmed and
projected direct and indirect jobs have been created, and $2.4 billion in
capital investment has been made within designated brownfield areas.