West Virginia Brownfields
Assistance Center at Marshall University
In the Spring 2005 legislative session West Virginia Senate Bill 603 was passed authorizing development of regional brownfields assistance centers at Marshall University and West Virginia University. Marshall University was charged with serving the central and southern twenty-two counties of West Virginia.
The USEPA Brownfields program is a major vehicle for converting derelict land into useful and productive property. The program includes grants for assessment and remediation. It also includes a loan program to encourage site infrastructure development.
Working in coordination with West Virginia University, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Development Office, we are helping to position the State to realize enhanced economic development through the aggressive redevelopment of brownfields sites.
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center's responsibilities include the following:
- Acquiring property that is eligible for state and federal Brownfield assistance pursuant to the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act and the West Virginia Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act
- Serving as the developer of the property for the purposes of managing and coordinating remediation and redevelopment activities;
- Preparing an inventory of Brownfields sites within their respective geographic regions, and updating the inventory of sites on an annual basis;
- Promoting and coordinating the development of Brownfield property by providing training and technical assistance on Brownfield development, grant writing, site assessments, remediation, community involvement and site preparation to eligible entities;
- Administering federal Brownfield Job Training Grants, the Brownfields Revolving Fund, and other federal Brownfield financial assistance programs to assist eligible entities in their Brownfield development efforts;
- Coordinating efforts to secure federal Brownfield funding by establishing priority rankings and by other necessary measures to maximize federal financial assistance and eliminate overlapping competition for federal dollars;
- Coordinating the development and publication of a website to provide education and appropriate information on Brownfields development in West Virginia; and
- Coordinating with the West Virginia Development Office and the Department of Environmental Protection to establish and track key Brownfields economic statistics and conduct Brownfield conferences, as appropriate.
The West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center at Marshall University will increase brownfield activity in the designated 22 counties through the following primary objectives:
- Economic development: Facilitate income generation from brownfields sites.
- Workforce development: Enhance job training through both site rehabilitation and attraction of new employers.
- Site revitalization: Transform real property liabilities into community assets.
- Sustainable funding: Develop a diversified income stream for the Brownfield Assistance Center so that we can continue to serve the economic development needs of southern West Virginia Communities
For more information on the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University, and information on brownfields redevelopment throughout West Virginia, visit the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center’s website at:
Anthony (Tony) Szwilski, Ph.D.