I am excited to invite you to join thousands of community, state and local leaders, and brownfield practitioners at the 17th National Brownfields Training Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 5-7, 2017.  Pittsburgh is where we held our first ever Brownfields Conference, in 1996.  We are thrilled to return to the city where the brownfields movement began, over two decades ago!

EPA is proud of the Brownfields Program and its many accomplishments, working in partnership with leaders in communities, states, tribes and territories to transform and revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns.  These accomplishments begin with local community visions recognizing that brownfields are assets in the heart of America’s urban, suburban and rural downtowns.  Brownfields revitalization can catalyze public health protection, environmental benefits such as reduced air and water impacts, and social benefits such as addressing unemployment and economic transformation. The Brownfields Conference provides an ideal opportunity for brownfield stakeholders to gain knowledge, to network with peers and other stakeholders, and take home the lessons of our collective efforts to achieve greater success in revitalizing their communities.

The Brownfields Program developed and evolved greatly over the past 21 years.  What started as a pilot program, largely looking at brownfields on a site-by-site basis, has grown to be a model for community-wide revitalization and economic development.   It is a national effort to address abandoned and under-used properties in a holistic and inclusive way that engages the affected community or neighborhood; prioritizes brownfield sites; uses market and infrastructure studies and analysis; and identifies and secures resources to implement the coordinated brownfields projects, all in a way that will effect robust economic revitalization.   Recently, EPA focused on the opportunities to address climate change adaptation, and promote area wide planning and advanced planning to leverage implementation resources, while preserving the focus on economically and socially distressed communities.   Over the years, we witnessed the tremendous leveraging power that begins when communities, states, and tribes initiate the brownfields revitalization process with property assessments and brownfields cleanups using EPA Brownfields grants.  Every dollar of EPA brownfields funding leverages between $17 and $18 in other public and private funding.

Addressing climate change, leveraging resources through comprehensive planning, advancing manufacturing and economic development, promoting equitable development, as well as exploring some of the technical and financing fundamentals of brownfield projects, are just some of the issues and challenges that will be discussed during the over 100 educational sessions scheduled at the 2017 conference.  I encourage you to look at the web site for the full conference agenda, as well as logistics information.

Brownfields redevelopment truly leads to improved environmental and economic conditions in communities large and small, across the country, and on tribal lands.  Come be a part of Brownfields 2017! I look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh.

David R. Lloyd, Director

Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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