Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: (412) 261-0710 Email: Get Directions

2024 Conference Program

Monday      –      Tuesday      –     Wednesday

Click on Session Title to view/download powerpoint (if available)



EPA Region 3 All Grantees Meeting: All current and new US EPA grantees are invited to attend this session for an informative roundtable discussion.


CABIN Summit: stakeholders from across the Appalachian region discuss complex redevelopment issues and network with peers, agency representatives, development professionals, and environmental experts to highlight success stories from across the Central Appalachian region.

Fly Fishing – (More info found here)

Opening Reception at the Axemann Brewery – Sponsored by HDR

For those who have registered to attend the Monday evening reception at the Axemann Brewery, we offer a complimentary shuttle bus to & from the Penn Stater. Each way the trip takes approx. 15 minutes, so watch for the next stop at the main entrance of both facilities. Last shuttle is approx. 7:30 PM from the Brewery. For those driving:  Address: 2042 Axemann Rd, Bellefonte, PA 16823

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Brownfields 101

Session Chair and Presenter: Steven Miano, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, Philadelphia, PA

Spend an hour before the start of the conference learning the basics of Pennsylvania’s brownfields program. The session is designed for those who are either new to brownfields redevelopment or for those who want to put the entire brownfields redevelopment process into perspective. The session will cover the basics of Acts 2, 3 and 4, the legal protections provided, federal counterparts, the drivers of the process, managing technical issues, the nuts and bolts of doing the deal, risk management, and long term stewardship of redevelopment projects including environmental covenants. Speakers will provide both the DEP and private practice perspectives.

Panelists: Colleen Costello, Sanborn Head & Associates, Horsham, PA; Michael Maddigan, PA DEP, Harrisburg, PA

Opening Plenary Session

Conference Chairs Troy Conrad and Mark Urbassik welcome you to the 2024 PA Brownfields Conference

Speakers: Adam Ortiz, US EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator; Ramez Ziadeh, P.E., PA DEP Acting Executive Deputy Secretary

1A: To Sample or Not to Sample? Contaminants of Emerging Concern at Brownfield Sites and the Multiple Lines of Evidence Approach
Session Chair: Steve Miano, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, Philadelphia, PA

You’ve worked to ferry a brownfield site through a regulatory authority’s remediation program, but on the eve of a final remediation document, or in the context of O&M or eco review, the question is asked: What about contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)? For environmental professionals, it’s a common, yet frustrating experience. But as we all know, the worst thing you can do in response to this question is stick your proverbial head in the sand. In our evolving regulatory environment, CECs must be addressed at some point. The question then becomes when, how, and in what manner? Being proactive, yet careful is often the best approach. We’ll provide attendees with the framework for the issues that should be considered during a CECs assessment. We’ll start with an examination of whether sampling is necessary, or whether a multiple lines of evidence approach can show that CECs are not a concern. We’ll take attendants through the process of compiling and analyzing lines of evidence and presenting conclusions. Where multiples lines of evidence are insufficient, we’ll also present hypothetical means of narrowing sample plans to identify whether CECs are present. We’ll also present several case studies demonstrating how these issues play out. This will be a true panel discussion, with lots of questions and answers, and we will encourage participation from the attendants.

Presenters: Mark Heinzelmann, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, Roseland, NJ; Rick Shoyer, Montrose Environmental, Adam Hackenberg, Langan ITRC; Brian S. Winfield, Lowenstein Sandler LLP

1B: Capacity Building in Rural PA
Session Chair: Jill M. Gaito, Gaito & Associates LLC, Carlisle, PA

The City of Shamokin was the first community in Pennsylvania to be awarded EPA’s 128(a) Technical Assistance Grant. Working PADEP and SEDACOG, Shamokin utilized this grant to create a brownfields inventory which served as the foundation for a successful EPA Brownfield Assessment grant. They have also used the EPA Assessment grant to leverage additional funding from multiple agencies. The success of the Shamokin/SEDACOG project set the stage for PADEP to implement brownfield inventory projects in 30 more PA communities and facilitated PADEP’s successful EPA Assessment grant award in 2023. These projects are creating positive impacts on public health, economic vitality, and quality of life for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable and underserved residents. This session highlights the amazing collaborative partnerships that are being established and the inclusive revitalization planning that is occurring to secure federal funding to help communities reach their goals. The results in the City of Shamokin are tangible and exciting and can be replicated across PA!

Presenter: Jill M. Gaito, Gaito & Associates LLC, Carlisle, PA

1C: McGinness Innovation Park, Columbia, PA – Ready for Takeoff
Session Chair: Bill Ahlert, BA Environmental

The McGinness Innovation Park is 58-acre brownfield redevelopment project in the historic river town of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania which was formerly occupied by a private airfield. The redevelopment is being funded by a grant and loan from Pennsylvania’s Businesses in Our Sites Program. During this panel presentation the project team will share the plans for the property, how the funding came together, community involvement, and the technical challenges that are being faced.

Speakers: Mark Stivers, Columbia Borough, PA; Kay Linnell, P.G., ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC, Mechanicsburg, PA; John W. Biemiller, Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, Lancaster, PA; Richard Jackson, RLA, ELA Group, Inc.

1D: Developers View – Brownfields Redevelopment
Session Chair: Greg Firely, AMO Environmental Decisions, Doylestown, PA

Brownfields are typically centrally located, near existing infrastructure and a viable workforce.  This panel discussion will include the developers view into what they look for and how they navigate environmental issues.  We will also discuss private/public partnerships, working with local communities, evaluating needs, best uses, leveraging grant funding and how communities with existing grant program are more attractive.  Hear from the experts and how they are investing in brownfields and creating true sustainable “destinations.”

Presenter: Greg Firely, AMO Environmental Decisions, Doylestown, PA

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Keynote Session

Joel Burcat is a novelist and retired environmental lawyer living in Harrisburg, Pa. In February 2024, Sunbury Press published his climate change-action/adventure thriller, REAP THE WIND. His previous novels, DRINK TO EVERY BEAST, AMID RAGE, and STRANGE FIRE have been award-winning environmental thrillers. His previous books dealt with environmental issues such as “midnight dumping”, coal mining, and fracking.
Burcat’s legal career spanned 40 years, including time as an Assistant Attorney General with PaDER (currently PA DEP), dealing mostly with coal strip mining sites, and many years in private practice as an environmental lawyer. He often represented companies working through Superfund and Brownfield site issues. He was selected as the 2019 Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Litigation (for Central Pa.) by Best Lawyers in America. He edited multiple editions of two award-winning non-fiction works for the Pa. Bar Association Press on environmental and oil and gas law.
He was a Gold Medal Winner from Readers’ Favorite for Environmental Fiction, a Finalist of the Next Gen Indie Book Awards, and a winner of the PennWriters Annual Writing Contest. STRANGE FIRE was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Week. Burcat is active with the International Thriller Writers Association and PennWriters.
For more information:

2A: Path Forward for addressing PFAS at Brownfields under the Act 2 Program
Session Chair & Presenter: Colleen Costello, PG, Sanborn, Head & Associates, Horsham, PA

The rapidly developing regulatory, technical, and legal frameworks for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may seem overwhelming for Brownfield sites.  This panel will provide an overview of how to navigate complex PFAS issues using Pennsylvania’s Act 2 Program, including technical considerations for PFAS characterization, considerations for site redevelopment (effects on permits, soil management plans, etc.) and the legal implications that arise in property transactions. A case study from the Horsham Redevelopment Authority will be used to highlight key PFAS issues which can influence site redevelopment including lessons learned.

Speakers: Mike Maddigan, PA DEP; Ben Clapp, Babst Calland; Mike Shinton, Horsham Redevelopment Authority

2B: Innovation through Collaboration – The Darlington Brickyard
Session Chair: Dominic Anselmo, KU Resources, Inc., Duquesne, PA

The Misingwa Land Trust acquired the Darlington Brick Yard in Darlington Township, Beaver County with the intent of transforming the former industrial site into greenspace that would pay homage to the Native American heritage of the area. Remnants of the former brick factory, which dates to the early 19th century, included a partially demolished factory building, demolition debris piles, and piles of unused brick making materials. Unbeknownst to the Misingwa Land Trust, these materials meet the definition of solid waste, and an anonymous citizen complaint resulted in the issuance of a notice of violation from the PADEP. The Land Trust sought assistance for the County, who recognized that their U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant could provide the needed resources to resolve the issue. Beaver County collaborated with the PADEP and the U.S. EPA to forestall an enforcement action contingent upon completion of waste characterization and the development of a cleanup plan. Beaver County used a portion of its assessment grant to complete Phase I and II site assessments, waste characterization, and a reuse plan for the site. Beaver County leveraged the work completed under the Assessment Grant to acquire the property and receive a U.S. EPA Cleanup grant in the 2023 funding cycle. Once the site is remediated, it will be returned to the Land Trust so they can move forward with the reuse plans developed under the Assessment Grant. The site is located along the banks of the Little Beaver River, above which is a branch of the North County Trail, a transcontinental hiking trail popular with both novices and through-hikers. Concept plans include a physical connection to the trail via a recently restored historic pedestrian bridge, camping sites, lavatory facilities, and outdoor recreation/picnic areas. A short video was created to highlight the progress that has been made on the Darlington Brick Factory. The video, which will be shared during the session, includes drone imagery and interviews with stakeholders clearly demonstrate the site conditions, the reuse vision and the potential for this site to be transformed into an ecological and recreational asset. The final site reuse plan is attached.

Presenter: Dominic Anselmo, KU Resources, Inc., Duquesne, PA

2C: Sustainable Approaches to Site Remediation and Site Closure
Session Chair: Troy Conrad, PA DEP

Achieving PA Brownfield site cleanup and closure via sustainable remedial practices can be a difficult task. Site cleanup and closure are based on mandated remedial objectives, completing conceptual site models that are ever evolving, and limitations in remedial technologies based on site complexity and contaminants of concern. Recent challenges associated with climate change impacts, emerging contaminants, remediation resiliency, public participation, and an ever-decreasing set of resources pose obstacles for future site cleanup and closure. To achieve site cleanup and closure in a sustainable manner, it is important to discuss the path forward for sustainability in Brownfields redevelopment as a collaboration between many stakeholders.

This panel discussion will present the different aspects of sustainable approaches to remediation and overall site closure to bring forward thinking to the strategic planning of Brownfield site closure. The panel will discuss current issues we are dealing with in relation to climate change that will impact future site closures, current sustainable remediation technologies that have successfully been implemented at Brownfield sites for future redevelopment, and the methods for evaluating the remedy resiliency as it applies to site remediation and closure on Act 2 reporting.

Presenters: Dr. Ethan Yang, Lehigh University; Dr. Song Jin, Advanced Environmental Technologies LLC; Russ Abell, Sanborn, Head & Associates, Bedford, NH

2D: Transforming Brownfield Portfolios in Southwestern Pennsylvania
Session Chair: Mark Urbassik, KU Resources, Inc.

The decline of the Pittsburgh area’s steel industry left large tracts of vacant industrial properties scattered across the region. The redevelopment of these sites has been a critical component of Pittsburgh’s and the surrounding area’s economic and cultural transformation into the 21st century. In this session, hear from the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) about their efforts to revitalize obsolete sites into centers of economic activity, bringing jobs and tax revenue back to their communities.

Speakers: Keith Miller, RIDC, Pittsburgh, PA; Bailey Knapp, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pittsburgh, PA

3A: PFAS Forever Chemicals and Brownfields – What you need to know
Session Chair: Randy Farmerie, PA DEP

Moderator: Lydia Work, Environmental Standards, Inc./ Montrose

Please join a panel of experts representing EPA, state, and legal perspectives. PFAS regulations are evolving quickly and along with it so are impacts to Brownfields. Forever chemicals, also known as PFAS, are everywhere – in makeup, food containers, clothing, cookware, and even in your body. It’s a local issue and a global issue. As the EPA puts forward new regulations, Brownfields are facing new challenges for due diligence and public engagement. This panel will share current PFAS information and how properties in our region are impacted. We will discuss appropriate steps to take in due diligence, testing, risk assessment, communication of the risks, and the obligation of owners, property developers, and consultants.

Speakers: Brie Sterling, PA DEP; Mackenzie Moyer, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA; Ruby Stanmyer, and Charles Wood, US EPA Region 3

3B: Finding Hope: Remediation and Redevelopment in Struggling Steelton Borough
Session Chairs: Jarrad Minnich and Jill Gaito

Steelton Borough is an economically depressed steel town south of Harrisburg City. A struggling steel mill, lack of commercial development, a largely empty downtown, and blight left the Borough overlooked by traditional developers. Drawing on Steelton’s tenacious attitude and significant EPA brownfields funding, the Borough successfully remediated a six-acre downtown site sitting on a former steel mill canal. The result is The Steel Works–Steelton’s first multi-million dollar mixed-use development. Join the cast of characters who made The Steel Works a reality including the hometown developer, former borough manager, and brownfields consultants. This panel discussion will explore the challenges of brownfields development in a small steel town with a significant environmental legacy and economic hardship.

Speakers: Douglas E. Brown, Dauphin County, Harrisburg, PA; Jonathan Bowser, Integrated Developments Partners; Dominick Anselmo, KU Resources

3C: The Sunny Side of the Street-Planning and Implementing Successful Solar on Brownfields
Session Chair: Colleen Kokas, AC Power, New York, NY

In the evaluation of contaminated sites anticipated for redevelopment, an assessment of the best and highest use should be conducted. The outcome of that assessment may be solar redevelopment. This session will discuss the process for successful solar projects, the federal incentives that exist to support solar and the legal risks that should be evaluated and mitigated to the extent possible. Case studies will be presented to demonstrate how processes and practices are implemented to deliver both environmental protectiveness, as well as a productive reuse of sites for solar.

Presenter: Colleen Kokas, AC Power, New York, NY

3D:Supporting Environmental Justice through the Brownfield Lens
Session Chair: Jessica Ritenour, PA DEP

Brownfields redevelopment emerges as a viable solution for addressing these community challenges; however, navigating the resources and obtaining pertinent information can be challenging if you are not familiar with the tools. In addition to the US EPA’s EJScreen, tools such as the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, and the US Census Bureau’s Data Tables can provide a more comprehensive view of community challenges. We will provide a “hands-on” guide to the available data tools and how to use them to support a Brownfields grant application. We will also explore how EJ data can inform outreach strategies and redevelopment choices for Brownfields properties.

Economic, Climate and Environmental Justice: Data Tools for Brownfields
Candy Elliott, PG, Raleigh, NC, and Melissa Schick, SCS Engineers, Tampa, FL

Interactive tools, including the US Environmental Protection Agency’s EJScreen, the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, and the US Census Bureau’s Data Tables, empower us to assess specific communities’ demographic, economic, social, health, and environmental challenges. The Environmental Justice (EJ) review process is valuable for devising community outreach plans and evaluating a project’s impact on local environmental conditions. The process helps ensure we do our part to lessen negative environmental consequences resulting from governmental and commercial operations or policies as much as possible. These insights contribute to identifying critical concerns such as unemployment, lack of healthcare access, affordable housing scarcity, exposure pathways, and downtown decay.

Understanding Trauma Impacts in Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities
Alisa Goren, BRS, Inc., Medford Lakes, NJ

Environmental trauma in Environmental Justice (EJ) communities, resulting from harmful conditions like pollution or contaminated property, can profoundly impact community life. This manifests in altered health statuses, disrupted social structures, strained relationships, and diminished well-being. These communities often feel neglected, which exacerbates their collective trauma.

Addressing this trauma necessitates community-centric planning and engagement. Our panel seeks to provide a platform for this crucial dialogue, bringing together planners, environmental consultants, and community sectors. Participants will include those actively involved in EJ communities, offering diverse perspectives on trauma’s impact and potential solutions. We’ll explore transforming contaminated properties into community assets, share best practices on rehabilitating trauma-impacted communities, and offer methods to solicit constructive feedback.

Exhibit Hall Reception – wind down Day 1 in the Exhibit Hall Reception, a great time to mix and mingle with exhibitors and fellow attendees.  Sponsored by PCPG

Women in Brownfields Session

Featured Speaker:  Colleen Kokas, AC Power

This informal session will provide an unique networking opportunity in a casual atmosphere.  In addition, facilitated discussion will focus on connecting young professionals with experienced women in the brownfield world, as well as spark dialogue associated with issues such as best practices, secrets to success and dealing with hurdles/obstacles in professional development.  Colleen Kokas will share her professional journey in the public and private sectors.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Plenary Session: Federal and State Updates
Michael Maddigan, PA DEP, Harrisburg, PA; Brian Eckert, PA DCED, Harrisburg, PA; Susan Spielberger, US EPA, Philadelphia, PA

Please join us for an early morning regulatory update from your Federal and State brownfields partners.  This plenary session will feature representatives from US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) who will provide updates on recent program initiatives including rulemakings, technical guidance, and the status of current and future brownfields funding opportunities.

4A: Emerging Contaminants as Brownfield Reopeners: Armageddon or Red Herring?
Moderator: Brian Clark, BCK Strategies LLC

A multi-disciplined panel will discuss the technical, regulatory, legal, business and public implications of reopeners at developed properties by applying a detailed hypothetical that will dive deeply into the possible scenarios that could lead to site reopeners. Environmental Justice initiatives, uncertainty with remediating emerging contaminants  and the impact to plans for redevelopment will be a key focus of the discussion.  The session will tackle tough questions that do not necessarily have a right and wrong options, but rather, a range of options.  These include,what happens when further site development or change in use for segmented portions of the property occur? Do EJ issues affect the scope of any additional development or otherwise impact current use due to ECs concerns? What roadmap can developers apply to minimize risks and delays? Who’s responsible for taking additional remedial action?  Will additional remediation be required and is there a clear path forward for remediation?

Speakers: Colleen Kokas, AC Power; Lydia Work, Montrose Environmental; PADEP, Office of Environmental Justice

4B: Redevelopment of 1300 acres in Philadelphia, from Former Refinery to State of the Art Campus for E-Commerce, Life Sciences, and Logistics
Session Chair: Colleen Costello, PG, Sanborn, Head & Associates, Horsham, PA

Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) is redeveloping the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), previously Sunoco Refinery into the Bellwether District, a 1300-acre state of the art campus in Philadelphia. To enable this redevelopment, legacy environmental impacts are being addressed by Evergreen Resources Group, LLC (Sunoco affiliate) under PA’s Act 2 Program and the EPA’s RCRA program, while HRP is addressing more recent environmental impacts under PA’s Tank and Act 2 Programs. This panel will discuss how site redevelopment is being integrated with ongoing environmental investigations and cleanup activities to support the Site to become a green, sustainable development and an economic engine for all of Philadelphia, including a discussion of the unique Site challenges considering multiple RP’s, regulatory agencies and various regulatory programs, and creative regulatory/technical approaches to support site cleanup and redevelopment that have not been previously used for Sites under the Act 2 program.

Overview of Proposed Redevelopment and Redevelopment Challenges
Julianna Connolly, HRP, Boston, MA

Overview of Legacy Environmental Conditions and Ongoing Activities
Tiffani Doer, Evergreen, Wilmington, DE

Challenges with Overlapping Regulatory Programs to Achieve Site Closure
David Brown, PADEP, Pittsburgh, PA; Rich Staron, PADEP, Norristown, PA

4C: Mining the Ripple Effects: Factors Contributing to Success in Rural Brownfields-to-Healthfields Projects
Session Chair: Carrie Staton, WVU Brownfields

Brownfield redevelopment enables communities to transform out-of-use and polluted liabilities into community assets. While the environmental and economic benefits are often tracked and lauded, there are often broader impacts to the community, including public health, that can be traced back to these complex redevelopment projects. Through a community-based participatory research process, we sought to engage rural communities that have completed redevelopment, exploring patterns contributing to success and perceived community impacts.

Speaker: Samantha Moyers-Kinsella, Ph.D., WVU School of Public Health

4D: Brownfield Job Training for the Environmental Justice Terrain
Session Chair: Tim Barrick, PA DEP

Learn how two inspiring and unique Job Training Grantees work cooperatively to trek the diverse needs of the underserved Environmental Justice communities around the urban landscape of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Auberle Employment Institute (AEI) focuses on training individuals to assess and mitigate hazardous substances and contaminants at traditional brownfields. The U.S. Department of Labor twice named AEI as the number one workforce development program in the country. Within the same underserved community, Landforce takes a less traditional job training approach focusing on Environmental Stewardship that includes vacant lot stabilization, trail building and maintenance, and green stormwater infrastructure maintenance. AEI and Landforce use similar strategies to help prepare students to be leaders and have successfully leveraged multiple funding sources to achieve common goals.

Presenters: Abby Wolensky, Auberle, McKeesport, PA; Nancy Shannon, US EPA Region 3; Thomas Guentner, Landforce Pittsburgh

5A: Bethlehem Steel: 20 years later. The benefits of brownfield redevelopment to the community.
Session Chair: Vincent Carbone, HDR Engineering, Inc., Bethlehem, PA

Bethlehem Steel redevelopment is almost complete and the technical process and procedure well documented. This discussion is about what has not been discussed for a mature brownfield redevelopment.  How redevelopment on the site has enhanced the surrounding community, spurred economic development and improved environmental justice. Our panel consists of Robert de Beer of Peron Development a regional developer that has been influential in the development in Bethlehem, Kassie Hilgert President and CEO of ArtsQuest, one of the community enhancing non-profit organizations that have benefited from brownfields redevelopment and enhanced the economy and Bethlehem Community and Asher Schiavone Department of Economic and Community Development for the City of Bethlehem. Each will be prepared to provide their unique perspective on the benefits and lessons learned in development of the community around “The Steel”.

Presenters: Robert DeBeer, Peron Development,; Kassie Hilger, ArtsQuest;  Alicia Karner,  City of Bethlehem

5B: Intersection of Clean Energy Projects and Brownfield Sites (new time)
Session Chair: Colleen Costello, PG, Sanborn, Head & Associates, Horsham, PA

Developers, Redevelopment Authorities, Counties and Municipalities should sit in this presentation to learn about new federal and state initiatives for funding and technical aid to bring energy projects to brownfield sites.

Pennsylvania’s abundance of natural resources gives Pennsylvania the opportunity to play an important role in national energy production and positions us for unparalleled growth in the energy and manufacturing sectors. Many of our Brownfield sites, such as closed coal fired power plants and refineries, already have the needed infrastructure to be able to transition these sites into cleaner energy projects while addressing environmental issues. The question is what is available to do help our communities bring these sites back into productive reuse? The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Development (DCED) is providing technical and financial assistance to help redevelop these sites. In addition, the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) also provides significant tax credits that can be utilized for Brownfield site in Pennsylvania.  This panel will provide insight into how the DCEC and the Governor’s Office of Critical Investments can provide assistance to redevelop Brownfield sites into Energy Producers or related industry. This panel will also discuss the practical considerations for permitting and construction of these facilitiesto enable a Brownfield site to effectively utilize the state and federal funding initiatives, while also successfully navigating the permitting and other challenges. The current reality of hydrogen production in PA will also be highlighted in our panel’s discussions.

Panelists: Dr. Brian Regli, Ph.D., PA Office of the Governor; Adam Walters, PA Office of the Governor; Kevin Garber, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir, Pittsburgh, PA

5C: Electrifying Brownfields-Empowering Low Value Sites
Session Chair: Colleen Kokas, AC Power, LLC

The growth of solar power in the US has increased dramatically in the past several years due to a wide range of factors. Brownfields are the perfect location to consider for solar project siting. But did you ever wonder why you see more solar in certain states? PADEP did not want to miss the opportunity to bring more solar to communities and commissioned a study to assess the opportunities of Grid-Scale solar on Previous Mined Lands. This session will explore the findings of that study, discuss the opportunities for solar on other types of brownfield sites, identify the various stakeholders involved in the process, the roles and responsibilities of those stakeholders, community solar vs. utility scale solar projects, the factors that contribute to the success of solar projects and strategies for improving the process. Case studies will be discussed for projects on previously disturbed lands.

Speakers: Douglas Clark, P.E., Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Moon Township, PA; Cassidy Robinson, Labella Associates, DPC, Dunmore, PA

5D: Choosing the Right Approach: Maximizing Value of your Grant Dollars thru Community Renewal
Session Chair: Mary King, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.

The Western Pennsylvania region has been the recipient of some of the largest EPA Brownfields Assessment grant dollars in the past decade. Working within the confines of funding obtained from the Brownfields Assessment Grant program, it is critical to maximize the value for each grant dollar spent. There are a number of technical strategies your selected consultant can and should employ to maximize efficiency and value realized, but program management approaches also matter. Along with community driven approaches, renewal is critical to the success of brownfield programs by maximizing involvement of community stakeholders. These considerations can drastically lead to greater realized value by the program for the grants they’ve received but can also maximize benefits to the community and reputation of the brownfields program within the community. Through maximizing community benefit in the implementation of your grant program, we will illustrate specific examples of success that you can also realize. These include The Granada Theatre in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and The McKees Rocks Theater/Emerald Room redevelopment projects.

Speakers: Juan Garrett, Riverside Center for Innovation, Pittsburgh, PA; Robert Dlugos, Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc.; Monroeville, PA

6A: Seeing Beyond the Scars: Three Decades of Transforming Abandoned Mine Lands in Northeastern Pennsylvania (new time)
Session Chair: John R. Gross, PA DEP, Harrisburg, PA

Earth Conservancy (EC) has spent decades working toward environmental and economic revitalization in the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania through reclamation of abandoned mine lands. Mine-scarred sites are not only eyesores and bleak reminders of a more prosperous past; they also produce environmental threats, drag on the economy, and undermine residents’ quality of life. Now, 30 years since EC’s start, 2,030 acres have been reclaimed and reutilized across a variety of sectors. Three acid mine drainage treatment systems have been constructed, over 6,000LF of stream channel has been rebuilt, and nearly 10,000 acres are devoted to recreation and greenspace. Progress has been made. However, there is more to do. EC still owns thousands of acres of land; yet recent analyses indicate limits to what may be possible. This presentation will examine some of EC’s successes, explore what’s next, and offer lessons learned for other brownfields organizations.

Speaker: Elizabeth W. Hughes, Earth Conservancy, Ashley, PA

6B: Fighting an Uphill Battle in Pottstown
Session Chair: Joseph P. Kraycik, P.G., CQA, Montrose Environmental Solutions

Pottstown Plating Works conducted metal electroplating operations at a 4-acre site in Pottstown from 1950 to 2009. Following bankruptcy in 2009, the property became a vacant blighted eyesore, safety hazard, and economic liability to the Borough and its residents. This session will provide details on the public-private partnership that led to the successful cleanup and redevelopment of the former Pottstown Plating Works site, created jobs, and put the property back on the tax rolls. Although a private developer invested significantly in the project, without public funding, the environmental issues at the site would have made the project economically infeasible.

Speakers: Jonathan Spergel, Esq., Manko, Gold, Katcher, and Fox; Peggy Lee-Clark, Pottstown Area Economic Development

6C: “The Vapor Caper” – Solving the Mystery of Preferential Pathways, and other VI Roadblocks
Session Chair: Michael Maddigan, PA DEP

At almost every Act 2 site across Pennsylvania, site characterization includes analyzing for VOCs and evaluating vapor intrusion potential. The vapor intrusion pathway must be evaluated on a site-specific basis, which can be a daunting and sometimes complicated exercise. This presentation will use case studies to highlight several site-specific conditions that should be considered as part of a vapor intrusion evaluation and provide solutions to overcome common vapor intrusion issues. This panel discussion will begin with a discussion on site-specific building conditions and geologic features and how they affect the applicability of screening criteria. The discussion will then turn to the characterization of contaminant transport through preferential pathways formed by subsurface obstructions such as buried utilities and building foundations and the mitigation options that can be applied for separate phase liquid, contaminated groundwater, and vapors. Attendees will come away from this panel discussion with a better understanding of how to solve the mystery of the vapor intrusion pathway.

Presenters: Robert DeBeer, Peron Development; James P. Cinelli, Liberty Environmental, Inc., Reading, PA; Sarah Leininger, Strategic Risk Services, LLC, Bellefonte, PA

6D: Reenergizing PA’s Coal Mines
Session Chair: Greg Firely, AMO Environmental Decisions, Doylestown, PA

Greene County Industrial Development Authority was awarded a US EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant in 2022 and is utilizing this funding for the removal, disposal, final remediation and PADEP Act 2 Closure of former creosote facility built upon a former coal mine. Upon completion the solar farm development is scheduled to begin.

This panel consisting of members of the GCIDA and their environmental consultant, will discuss the long-term planning, commitment to the end use, and obstacles overcome to transform this former coal mine / contaminated creosote rail tie facility into a source of clean, Greene energy production as well as a source of funding for additional reinvestment.

Presenter: Greg Firely, AMO Environmental Decisions, Doylestown, PA

Closing Plenary Session featuring Matt Ward of Sustainable Strategies DC

Room: President’s Hall 1

Matt Ward leads the consulting and government affairs firm Sustainable Strategies DC, which helps localities and economic developers secure resources for community and economic revitalization. Highlighting success story examples from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond, the remarks will give insights to leveraging key tools for brownfield redevelopment with a look toward future revitalization trends.

Speaker: Matt Ward, CEO, Sustainable Strategies DC, Washington, DC

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