Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center Training and Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (MHSRC-TTAB) ProgramEPA Grant Number: R831578
Title: Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center Training and Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (MHSRC-TTAB) Program
Investigators: Banks, M. Katherine , Reddi, Lakshmi N.
Institution: Kansas State University , Purdue University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: May 1, 2004 through April 30, 2007
Project Amount: $337,500
RFA: HSRC - TTAB Brownfields (2003) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: HSRC - TTAB Brownfields , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management
Education and outreach to EPA Region 5 and 7 communities at all levels is particularly critical because of the negative effects of declining industrial and agricultural business and urban sprawl in the Midwest. Cities and towns that have had a long industrial history are recognizing that the vacant blighted properties propagate population decline in one area of a community and lead to unnecessary development in other areas. A significant portion of the population in regions 5 and 7 live in small cities and rural areas. The project will focus on outreach to communities that have limited resources and low income / high minority population profiles. It will develop and promote community capacity and leadership so they have the confidence to lead the decision-making process as their brownfield sites are cleaned up and re-used.
The TAB program for regions 5 and 7 specializes in training community leaders in the inception, development and implementation phases of a sustainable brownfield program. TAB will focus and train local government and communities on the phases of a brownfield project that can assimilate traditional community development skills with new technical skills and resources to rely upon. The focus of the project will be: 1) identification and prioritization of brownfields in their communities; 2)economics of brownfield redevelopment and local government funding resources; 3) clarification of legislation, rules, policies and procedures; 4) identification of stakeholders throughout the process; and, 5) effective environmental contractor selection and management.
The MHSRC staff will: provide on-site support to city officials and brownfield steering committees to solve specific brownfields problems; develop web-based teaching tools; and will conduct training presentations and workshops on best practices in brownfield identification, redevelopment visioning, and assessment as well as risk assessment and cleanup options for contaminated sites to community stakeholders and potential participating agencies. Support may also include assistance on more advanced topics, such as site registries and institutional controls. "Empowerment evaluation" techniques, to continually assess the success of support, and to provide useful information back to the communities, will also be a part of support provided.
The TAB program for regions 5 and 7 expects that the Centers' continued partnerships with local, state and regional stakeholders will maximize our outreach efforts and provide a "safety net" to local governments and communities new to brownfield redevelopment or those facing challenging new issues. A community's understanding of the underlying technical, social and economic issues associated with brownfield redevelopment will lead to more efficient use of existing public and private sector resources and successful revitalization of blighted areas.