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  • Trail Mix: Multi-state Collaboration on Rail Trail Development

    Thursday, December 12, 12:45 pm - 01:15 pm
    West Hall A – Area A
    Learning Lounges
    Track 6: Liability and Enforcement
    The conversion of abandoned railways to rail trails has become a popular way to revitalize brownfields, create economic development, synergize communities and make them more attractive for businesses, and provide healthy transportation alternatives. One of the primary issues affecting property acquisition for both the seller and the buyer is the environmental liability of rail corridors as well as mitigating any risk. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection collaborated with Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to develop Rail Trail Guidance to resolve the environmental liability issue by streamlining the process for assessing, mitigating, and developing rail trails. The Guidance used peer-reviewed literature to develop default Recreator Exposure Frequency and Exposure Time values for rail trails to be used with the EPA’s Regional Screening Level Recreator equations to allow for the site’s rapid movement through the state’s voluntary cleanup program to earn the valuable liability protections. This session will focus on the process and the benefits of using this Guidance to facilitate property transfer, reduce environmental liability, and develop trails by experience professionals who have been involved in these projects.
    Ross Brittain
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