By Jeff Campbell, Peak Environmental and BCONE Marketing Committee Chair
BCONE has a longstanding relationship with UConn, where a brownfield class is offered every fall semester to provide students with some real-world brownfields experience made possible by the University of Connecticut Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program (TAB) Municipal Assistance Program (MAP), serving all of USEPA Region 1.
As part of the course, UConn holds a competition in which groups of students present their semester-long projects to a panel of judges not associated with the university. The projects are brownfield grant proposals that the students prepare for actual properties in communities across New England. Under the UConn TAB’s Fall Municipal Assistance Program (MAP), student groups are paired with New England communities that have applied to TABs for MAP funding. The student groups help the communities with an application for an EPA brownfields grant through MAP.
To complete the project, the students collect data and content to support the narrative portion of the grant application, including community demographics, community and site history, environmental justice data, and other information required by the application. In creating the application, the students learn about brownfields, the community they are working with, and how to prepare a grant application. In May 2024, they will learn if their community was successful when the EPA announces grant winners.
While they wait for the EPA announcements, the twelve student groups gave final presentations to a panel of judges comprised of environmental professionals. The winning group received a financial scholarship from BCONE. The leadership team at BCONE congratulates the first-place team, Jacob Gentile and Chloe Sophia, who were each awarded a $500 scholarship.
The second and third-place teams received financial assistance from the CT Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) For the Fall 2023 semester competition, all three judges were from CT DEEP: Mark Lewis, Meena Mortazavi, and Amanda Limacher.
You can learn more about UConn’s TAB program here: https://tab.program.uconn.edu/
As part of its mission to ensure the future of the redevelopment industry, BCONE has developed numerous relationships with universities. We also promote the next generation of brownfield professionals through our Charlie Bartsch Brownfield Scholarship program. You can learn more about that program here: https://www.brownfieldcoalitionne.org/charlie-bartsch-brownfield-scholarship
About the Author:
|Jeff Campbell is an environmental consultant with over 25 years of experience remediating soil, groundwater and vapor for industrial, commercial, and retail customers. Peak Environmental, A Nova Group GBC Company, provides high-quality, professional, and cost-effective consulting services related to identifying and remediating environmental liabilities. For more on Peak Environmental, please visit their website at: https://peak-environmental.com.