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  • 22 Jun 2022 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE’s work with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Planning  continues to expand.  BCONE’s Executive Director, Sue Boyle of GEI, moderated the June 16, 2022 webinar sponsored by the Maryland Department of Planning as part of its three-part Brownfields Webinar Series. The focus of the June 16th webinar was The New ASTM Phase I Standard: The Nuts & Bolts and featured Denise Sullivan and Chemmie Sokolic as speakers.  If Ms. Sullivan is a familiar name to BCONErs, she is!  She spoke at one of the virtual Northeast Sustainable Community Workshops that BCONE held in 2021. BCONE members have heard Mr. Sokolic speak on due diligence for the LSRPA over the years.   The June 16 webinar recording and slides are at: https://planning.maryland.gov/Pages/OurWork/envr-planning/brownfields/webinar-series-2022.aspx

    Ms. Boyle emphasized  recent court cases regarding the fragility of  the bona fide prospective purchaser defense if Phase 1 certifications are incomplete or if the document is too old to quality. She and Ms. Sullivan also discussed the importance of hiring practitioners who know the national Phase 1 standards as well as the state-specific requirements where your transaction is taking place.

    The other webinars in the MD series were: Environmental Due Diligence: Be Prepared (June 15, 2022) and Revitalization and Redevelopment: Advancing Local Projects Through Tools and Programs (June 22, 2022).

    Maryland’s brownfields are assets for revitalization, reinvestment, and redevelopment. The webinar series provides opportunities for hundreds to learn the essential environmental and statutory requirements for brownfield property transactions from regulatory, legal, and consultant experts as well as assistance and know-how for redeveloping brownfields from federal, state, and real estate development specialists

    unique opportunity for communities to meet economic development goals, environmental protection and sustainability goals, and help achieve local comprehensive plan visions and objectives. 

    Posted June 22, 2022

  • 31 May 2022 1:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The BCONE Pennsylvania Expansion Committee held a “Tour and Pour” event on May 26, 2022, in downtown Pottstown. The tour began at the Montgomery County Community College Sustainability and Innovation Hub. Set on a three-acre brownfield site, this former PECO generating station has been transformed into a multipurpose and multifaceted resource for the College and community. 

       

       


    Next the tour progressed to the "Hess Lot," a vacant former retail gasoline station parcel, located at the entrance to Pottstown along Hanover Street. This parcel has seen renewed development interest recently, but presents challenges associated with legacy environmental issues. 

    The tour concluded with a visit to two downtown buildings that both received US EPA Brownfield Grant funding through the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority (MCRDA). The “BB&T Building” located at the corner of High and Hanover Streets received US EPA funding as a low-interest loan to complete asbestos abatement and universal waste removal that allowed renovations to commence. The fifth floor has been completely renovated and now serves as the Pottstown office of Cedarville Engineering Group (CEG). The success of CEG has led to significant job creation in Pottstown. The “Mercury Building” located at 24 N. Hanover Street served as the offices and distribution center for the Pottstown Mercury Newspaper until 2018. This property also utilized US EPA funding through MCRDA for asbestos abatement and universal waste removal. Renovation is now underway and future plans include a boutique hotel and on-site distillery. Tour attendees all agreed that we should re-visit the Mercury Building during a future BCONE tour after the hotel and distillery are operational.  

    The event concluded with an evening networking session at the Sly Fox Brewery located in the Circle of Progress Industrial Park near the Pottstown municipal airport.

    A special thank you to our guest speakers and sponsors who made the event a success:

    Guest Speakers

    • Amy Auwaerter and Mike Billetta – Montgomery County Community College
    • April Barkasi and Curt Hatfield – Cedarville Engineering Group
    • Peggy Lee-Clark – Pottstown Area Economic Development
    • Rebecca Swanson – Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority 

    Event Sponsors

    • Synergy Environmental – Gold Sponsor
    • Tetra Tech – Gold Sponsor
    • Environmental Standards, Inc. – Silver Sponsor
    • ETEC – Silver Sponsor
    • Lewis Environmental – Silver Sponsor 

    Look for more educational and networking events from the BCONE PA Expansion Committee this summer and fall. 

    Posted May 31, 2022

  • 31 May 2022 1:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Theme of all Presentations at the 2022 NJSWEP and BCONE Regulatory Update

    By  Andrea L. Poinsett, Senior Professional, GEI Consultants

    The annual NJDEP Regulatory Update organized by BCONE and NJSWEP with presenters from multiple NJDEP programs was virtual this year.  There were two afternoons of presentations on recent NJDEP developments, updates, and activities.   The theme that ran through each presentation is resilience.  The other important focus from NJDEP is to make sure all communities are resilient, especially already overburdened communities. 

    Each presentation and discussion included a common thread:  how does NJ prepare our state to “weather the storm” that is undoubtedly coming or, in some aspects, is already here?  The event kicked off with a presentation on NJ Climate Resilience Planning, showing how New Jersey’s climate patterns have changed and predicting trajectories. That information then focused on the big questions: How can NJ adapt with the current regulations and what new regulations need to be created to make our state as ready as possible?  How will our current infrastructure need to be changed? What needs to be modernized?  How will our current grid handle the change to more efficient vehicles?  NJDEP has created and provided access to resources demonstrating how we can plan for new flood extremes that seem to happen every few years. Answering the questions and solving the problems will require  State Agency Action, DEP Policy, and Community Guidance and Assistance.

    Anything we can do to be more resilient in the face of the changing climate helps.  So, in the spirit of the NJDEP regulatory update, what can you do to make your projects more resilient? 

    Posted May 31, 2022

  • 26 May 2022 2:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On May 25, 2022, BCONE Board Member Robert Crespi, Esq. had the pleasure of speaking to the NJ Business and Industry Association’s Energy and Environment Committee. He followed a presentation by NJDEP Assistant Commissioner Mark Pedersen, who shared these data on the recent decision-making process on extension requests:

    • 1742 total extension requests received by NJDEP for May, 2022 deadlines.
    • 867 were approved for regulatory extensions; 175 were denied for regulatory extensions.
    • 616 were approved for mandatory extensions; 84 were denied  for mandatory extensions.

    Most of the denials were due to a previously missed deadline or because their extension request for 2022 was submitted late.

    BCONE worked with other organizations such as LSRPA and the Site Remediation Industry Network to  constantly kept the issue of the upcoming deadlines in front of NJDEP. NJDEP to its credit conducted a very timely extension review process.

    BCONE is pleased to see the approval rate for the mandatory extensions.  Once NJDEP engaged in real dialogue with us about extension documentation suggestions and requirements, we were able to share that with members and their clients in time for them to submit approvable extension requests that reflected all of the remedial work that had been ongoing while also documenting what was left to be completed.  As BCONE members know, remediated sites are an economic and community revitalization tool for NJ and all states! 

    Mr. Crespi also took time in his presentation to point to the ongoing delay times at NJDEP in the review of Remedial Action Permits and accompanying Remedial Action Reports.  There is a growing concern among BCONE and other organizations that many of the department reviews seem to be harkening back to the component reviews of the “old” case management program--asking for more sampling, etc.-- despite the professional certification by an LSRP that the remediation is complete and is protective of human health and the environment.  The process streamlining advantages provided by the LSRP program are not being met, presenting slowdowns at redevelopment sites so important to New Jersey’s sustainable revitalization.

    You can download the NJBIA Presentation here.

    Posted May 26, 2022 

  • 26 May 2022 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE and NJSWEP held their NJDEP Regulatory Update on May 12 and 19, 2022—the first time in years, and it was virtual this year.

         

    On May 19, we were delighted that Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Dragon shared that her presentation at the Update was the first time the new office was discussed publicly!  What an honor.  Although the office and its programs were announced in a March, 2022 NJDEP listserv, it was wonderful for our audience to see the first PowerPoint presentation on how the Assistant Commissioner and her programs are leveraging resources and stacking tax credits and other incentives to bring about economic revitalization in NJ.  Any member of BCONE knows that those activities are vital to successful brownfield redevelopment.

    More detailed information on both days of the Update are coming soon. Many thanks to BCONE Treasurer, Sandra Gaurin, for her terrific moderation of the May 19, 2022 session.

    Posted May 26, 2022

  • 04 May 2022 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE was pleased to see more than 40 people attend the half-day PFAS Workshop on March 31, 2022.  Located at the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, the Fireside Inn was a perfect venue to share knowledge on such an important topic.  Happy for an in-person event, attendees met for networking for over an hour prior to the educational workshop.  


    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of emerging contaminants that are coming under regulation in many states, including NH and VT. An expert panel of PFAS experts guided the audience through a deep dive into a full range PFAS topics, as they provided their unique perspectives on topics ranging from testing methods, site characterization issues, regulatory concerns, legal issues, and remediation technologies.  


    The panel of PFAS experts included moderator Stephen Zemba from Sanborn Head & Associates, who hosted the educational workshop, and Jim Occhialini from Alpha Analytical.  

         

    Additional panelists included Jennifer Sanborn from Sanborn Head & Associates and a case study from John Schmeltzer from Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

        

    The expert panelists continued with Mindy Bubier from New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services and a legal analysis from Jeffrey Polubinski from Gravel & Shea. 

        

    Finally, PFAS treatment was discussed by Patrick McKeown from ETC2. BCONE Board Member, Jamie Snook, attended the workshop and provided this photo gallery summary.

        

    After the workshop, attendees enjoyed drinks and appetizers at the beautiful Garden Court Bar while discussing these PFAS hot topics with the expert panelists.  


    A special thank you to Steve Zemba, Sanborn Head and Associates, and Nancy Struzenski, Alpha Analytical, for their time and effort in putting together such an informative and fun event.

    Thank you to our event sponsors Alpha Analytical, Sanborn Head & Associates, Gravel & Shea, Weston & Sampson, ECT2, Downs Rachlin Martin (DRM) and Absolute Resource Associates.  Please continue to check BCONE’s website and follow us on social media for information on upcoming events and opportunities for networking in your area.

    Our Event Sponsors:

    Our Annual Double Platinum Sponsors


    Posted May 4, 2022

  • 04 May 2022 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By:  Sue Boyle, BCONE Executive Director and Senior Consultant, GEI Consultants, Inc.

    If these topics interest you, go to the BCONE website soon https://www.brownfieldcoalitionne.org/events and watch your emails because BCONE is hosting a Roundtable on these subjects in mid-June, 2022 featuring speakers from the Environmental and Energy Section of the NYS Bar and NYSDEC.

    The Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) joined its colleague NYC Brownfield Partnership in the NYS budget process for the first time in  spring 2022.  Thanks to a coalition of organizations including the New York League of Conservation Voters, Real Estate Board of New York, New York State Association for Affordable Housing,  and Environmental and Energy Section of the NYS Bar and others, BCONE learned some of the nuances of the NYS process and some new phrases, too (“a big ugly,” for one).  At the same time the budget discussions were happening, BCONE, the NYC Brownfield Partnership and others in the  coalition were working on important comments to NYSDEC proposed Part 375 regulations. The Part 375 effort was led by NYC Brownfield Partnership Board Member, George Duke, Esq.  Both efforts are crucial to brownfield efforts in New York City and to NY State in its entirety  as they directly impact the viability of brownfield remediation, redevelopment, financing, and the continued implementation of beneficial policies and programs to safely and cost effectively revitalize brownfield properties into much needed safe, affordable housing.  

    Over fifty people attended  the NYC Brownfield Partnership virtual presentation on April 27, 2022  for a briefing on all of these topics, as well as an additional update on the NYSDEC Part 360 regulations.  Moderated by Larry Schnapf, Esq. of both BCONE and NYC Brownfield Partnership, speakers included Patrick McClellan of the League of Conservation Voters and Sarah Bangs of Bolton-St. Johns as well as NYCBP Board members George Duke, Esq. on the Part 375 effort and Kevin McCarty with the  Part 360 “intel.”

    Major takeaways:

    •  A major win for brownfields in NYS:  The budget included the 10-year reauthorization of the Brownfield Cleanup Program and  strengthened the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program by increasing the funding!
    • Disappointingly, the budget also included a new $50,000 non-refundable application fee.  BCONE and all of the coalition members remain concerned that the steep fee  may deter smaller organizations, especially not-for-profit, MWBE, and upstate developers, from participating in the program.
    • There is  language regarding  a hardship waiver for the fee.
    • The budget legislation appears to have undermined the  usefulness of BCP for affordable housing projects by excluding benefits from affordable housing project determination and revising the housing definition.
    • BCONE signed on to the NYC Brownfield  Partnership’s  “lucky 13” collection of comments on the proposed Part 375 regulations, which cover implementation on the BCP: go here on the website to read the full text.  A few major points:  comments over BCP eligibility concerns (BCONE and the Partnership want broader eligibility than the regulations propose); concerns about proposal for off-site sampling by volunteers; and concerns about the proposed new definition of cover system requirements or site cover.
    • Part 360: Keep an eye out for an Environmental Notice Bulletin on May 11, 2022 for revised Part 360 regulations and expect to see new categories for fill.

    BCONE, the Partnership and the coalition will continue to work together to improve the BCP and its impacts on affordable housing.  All of our efforts to date are documented on the BCONE website here.

    Posted May 4, 2022

  • 04 May 2022 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Forty professionals were registered for this informative webinar with insight from Rachel Stopper, Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) Coordinator at NJDEP’s Office of Brownfield and Community Revitalization (OBCR), Elizabeth Limbrick, Director of Brownfields & Sustainable Systems for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJDEA), and Michele Christina, co-owner of Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions, Inc. (BRS).


    The following are just a few highlights from our program. Please make sure you join us in the future for both in-person and virtual events to receive all the insights, analyses and suggestions from our panels of experts.

    The HDSRF receives more than $10 million dollars every year to reduce the financial burdens on the redevelopment of brownfield sites by municipalities, counties and redevelopment entities. Ms. Stopper described the grant opportunities for public entities to receive funds to cover 100% of the cost of Preliminary Assessments, Site Investigations, and Remedial Investigations. Additional grants are available to cover a portion of the costs for the cleanup of contaminated sites. Both public and private entities that meet HDSRF criteria are also eligible to receive loans for projects.

    Ms. Limbrick described various programs available through NJEDA including Tax Incentives, Grants, Loans and free guidance for municipalities, counties, and non-profit organizations through the NJ Brownfield Assistance Center at NJIT. A Brownfield Assessment Grant is also available for underfunded communities in Bayonne, Bridgeton, Paterson and Perth Amboy. Under this program, NJEDA’s contractors complete the environmental investigations for certain projects.

    Ms. Christina described how BRS helps municipalities to bundle multiple funding sources using Berry Lane Park in Jersey City, NJ, as a case study. Various Federal, State, County and other funding sources were used to complete the investigation and remediation of 11 properties formerly used as rail yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities and warehouses. These former contaminated properties are now the largest municipal park in Jersey City with opportunities for active and passive recreation.

      
     

    Tim Mangold, Pennoni, served as the moderator for the session and facilitated the discussion of additional topics related to Brownfield Redevelopment.

    BCONE would like to thank all of our webinar attendees for their participation in our Roundtable discussion. Please remember to check BCONE’s calendar as we continually add more educational and networking opportunities.

    A special thank you to our Annual Double Platinum Sponsors!

    Posted May 4, 2022

  • 03 Mar 2022 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE had an amazing turnout at our in-person networking event at the Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford, Connecticut on March 1, 2022. It was so nice to catch up with friends and colleagues from BCONE, CTSWEP, EPOC, and many others who were interested in getting more involved with the Brownfields Coalition of the Northeast. 

     

     

     


    A huge thank you to Nancy Struzenski from Alpha Analytical and Almariet Roberts from HRP Associates for helping organize this event. We’d also like to thank our event sponsors, Alpha Analytical, Resource Options, Day Pitney, and Pullman & Comley. 

                 


    And a special thank you to our Double Platinum Annual Sponsors who help us to provide quality educational and networking opportunities throughout the year.

    Posted March 3, 2022

  • 01 Mar 2022 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Twenty people spent part of their morning on February 24, 2022, learning about Thermal Remediation at brownfield redevelopment sites and earning continuing education credits applicable for LSRP, PE and PG licenses.  Presenters John Haas  of Terra Therm and Gary Angyal of Ramboll were totally engaging and provided lots of useful information about the application of the technology at two NJ sites. They also mentioned its application at sites elsewhere in the Northeast.  A big thank you to Ramboll for also being the event sponsor.

    Alan Miller of NJDEP and Bill Silverstein of GEI moderated the Roundtable discussion and raised thoughtful questions.  Knowing their audience and hot topics, John and Gary mentioned that thermal remediation is effective on PFAS and 1, 4 dioxane in soil (not groundwater), although the sites described in depth had other contaminants of concern. Other lessons learned that were shared by the speakers:  account for subsurface obstructions, know who to talk to at the utilities and at the permitting agency(ies), and give yourself lots of lead time for required interactions with both groups. Plan for site security (high voltage equipment, chemical storage, and high visibility) and plan for community relations, especially if working in populated areas.

    One interesting question raised was whether NJDEP considers thermal remediation as an innovative technology for purposes of RFS posting.  The moderators and BCONE staff didn’t know the answer but obtained one from NJDEP quickly:  it depends on the case specifics! 

    Posted March 1, 2022

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