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EWIRE

Events Build Florida's Capacity to Promote Community Vitality through Brownfields Redevelopment

ORLANDO, Florida, Jan. 30 - /EWire/ -- Left alone, Brownfields are a cost to society. They can drain the economy, pose/present safety and environmental challenges and blight community health and vitality. On the other hand, Brownfields Redevelopment can stimulate the economy, eliminate risk to our health and environment, and revitalize communities. Florida continues to lead the country in this area. Over the past 3 days, significant progress has been achieved to advance this urgent need for community revitalization. This progress is the result of a series of unique events-outlined below-that serve the common goal of community development and improved public health. Orlando Workshop:Community Justice and Health Workshop Over 100 leaders representing a cross section of society participated in a day long workshop in Orlando, on Friday, January 25, which was both informative and interactive. The workshop educated community based organizations, residents, and non-profit associations about the basics of Brownfield Redevelopment and how to access resources available through Brownfield programs, such as funding and technical assistance. Brownfields consultants, pro-bono lawyers, and government officials were also in attendance, and the workshop provided time for these varied groups to come together and develop specific plans of action for their communities, utilizing the tools and strategies presented during the workshop. The event featured Florida State Senator Lee Constantine (R-District 22) and Florida State Representative Scott Randolph (D-District 36), Cynthia Peurifoy, , Environmental Justice Coordinator from US EPA Region 4, plus Roger Register, President of the Florida Brownfields Association, and Suzi Ruhl, Director of the Environmental Law Institute's Public Health and Law Program. ELI and Florida Legal Services Dialogue ELI and the Florida Legal Services co-sponsored a facilitated dialogue that addresses the urgent need for affordable housing for youth at risk. Florida currently has a population of 6269 former foster children between the ages of 18 and 23. Without family support, many struggle to find safe, affordable housing. Approximately one-third of Florida's foster children will be homeless within three years of aging out of the system. Through this workshop, ELI and FLS convened representatives from the private sector, government, and philanthropic organizations to explore Brownfield Redevelopment as a solution to the affordable housing challenges that at-risk youth face. About Brownfields Redevelopment Brownfields Redevelopment is an important tool for the revitalization of Florida communities. It stimulates the economy though job creation, reduces pollution, and improves public health by eliminating safety hazards. Brownfields sites themselves are costing Florida communities in numerous respects. As abandoned or underutilized properties with actual or perceived contamination, brownfields sites remain economically unproductive and are a drain to the state and local tax base. As such, they are often blights to communities. Florida's Brownfields program, established in 1997, seeks to encourage the cleanup of redevelopment of Brownfields sites and return them to productive reuse through the availability of state regulatory and financial incentives. Brownfields have brought revenue to the State of Florida-over the past 15 years, communities within Florida have received over $15 million dollars from the US EPA. Local governments receiving such grants include Ft Myers, Tampa. St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville, Ocala, and Stuart, among other cities throughout the state. The Environmental Law Institute® is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute serves the environmental profession in business, government, the private bar, public interest organizations, academia, and the press. Contact Info: Brett Kitchen E-mail : kitchen@eli.org Tel : 202-939-3833 Website : Environmental Law Institute

For more information:

Brett Kitchen E-mail : kitchen@eli.org Tel : 202-939-3833

www.eli.org

Comments

Rafaela

You must send a weirttn complaint with your state insurance department, including a copy of a letter from the tendency to experience state.

February 13, 2012, 2:11 AM
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