Old industrial sites, including pottery factories, glass factories, and abandoned mine lands, dot the landscape of much of the country. In Appalachia, these sites which were once the economic engines of communities can feel like symbols of a region in need of new economic strategies.
These brownfields – properties whose redevelopment is hindered by real or perceived contamination – also offer new opportunities for community and economic development. A regional conference will bring together stakeholders from across Appalachia to explore those opportunities. The second annual Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit on September 12-14 in Morgantown, WV will bring brownfield and redevelopment stakeholders together to learn from agencies, environmental professionals, funders, and peers on the many resources and approaches to brownfield redevelopment being implemented across Central Appalachia. The Summit is being held in conjunction with the 2017 #WVBrownfields Conference and will feature sessions covering all aspects of brownfield redevelopment, including renewables on abandoned mine lands, place-based economic development, and creative financing for new development.
Central Appalachia consists of parts of several states and is divided among three administrative regions of the US Environmental Protection Agency. As a result of these administrative divisions, practitioners and stakeholders from these states are not often given the opportunity to share experiences in addressing and redeveloping brownfield sites. The Summit is expected to attract stakeholders from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, including economic development professionals, real estate developers, lawyers, federal, state and local officials, environmental professionals, entrepreneurs, planners, bankers, investors, and community redevelopment professionals.