Montevallo to host ADEM ‘Brownfields’ seminar

Published 10:02 am Friday, September 28, 2018

By NANCY WILSTACH / Special to the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – Main Street and the city of Montevallo are hosting a seminar on “Environmental Strategies for Downtown Redevelopment” from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 19 at City Hall.

City Clerk Herman Lehman said that the seminar will address the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)’s Brownfields program.

“This is to help local governments understand how ADEM can help cities with redevelopment,” Lehman said.

The Brownfield Program, according to ADEM’s web site, helps “municipalities, communities and developers throughout Alabama reclaim and redevelop environmentally contaminated real estate. Redeveloping these properties, in turn, creates valuable opportunities for communities to improve beauty and safety, increase local taxes, support job growth and clean up and protect the environment.”

The Montevallo seminar will present an overview of the Brownfields program, discuss resources to help communities deal with contaminated real estate and explore public-private partnerships for redevelopment.

Brownfields are sites that were contaminated because of a previous use, and the contamination has made the land unattractive for reuse. Some examples could be a former tannery or textile mill.  According to ADEM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, beginning in 1995, has provided more than $6.5 billion in assistance to clean up such sites.  EPA money in Alabama is distributed through ADEM

The seminar is designed to make local governments aware of how they can access the assistance, starting with identifying properties they want to bring back into productive use.

Those interested in attending should contact, Lehman said, to register.

“The event is free, but you will notice that we planned it so that folks can visit one of our downtown restaurants for lunch afterwards,” he said.