Connecticut’s municipalities are dotted by hundreds of brownfield sites with remnants of toxic chemicals and industrial waste from years of unregulated activity. Federal and state assistance is available for cleanup, but the expertise and resources for the intensive process to secure those funds are not.
UConn’s new Connecticut Brownfields Initiative aims to bring much-needed assistance to the redevelopment of these sites.
“Different municipalities have different levels of readiness and resources,” says Maria Chrysochoou, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the new initiative. “Cities like Stamford and Bridgeport have built up the staff and expertise to successfully go through the process. But smaller towns sometimes don’t have the resources to put together winning proposals, which impedes their economic development opportunities.”
In order to develop a workforce and provide assistance to Connecticut towns and cities, the Connecticut Brownfields Initiative will develop a top-notch program for education on brownfields remediation and redevelopment, and provide networking opportunities for students, municipalities, and industry partners.
Beginning in the Fall 2018 semester, students will be able to enroll in a class that will teach them grant proposal writing, regulatory and liability issues, site investigation and remediation, and many other topics surrounding brownfields.
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