Brownfields Assistance Centers receive environmental partnership award

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1 June 2010 – Charlestown, W.Va. – The Brownfields Assistance Centers at West Virginia University and Marshall University were recipients of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Partnership Award. The award recognizes the collaborative approach the centers use to help communities identify, clean up and redevelop brownfields sites throughout the state, as well as their working relationships with state and federal agencies.

The award was presented by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin and WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman at WVDEP’s 10th Environmental Awards Ceremony.

The Brownfields Assistance Centers were created to empower communities to plan and implement brownfields redevelopment projects. The Northern Brownfields Assistance Center is located within the WV Water Research Institute at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy, while the Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University is housed within the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical, and Applied Sciences.

“The success of the Brownfields Assistance Centers is a tribute to Senator (Robert) Plymale’s vision and our close working relationship with the WV Department of Environmental Protection,” Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director of the WV Water Research Institute said. “We appreciate Secretary Huffman’s recognition of the hard work of Patrick Kirby, George Carico and the Centers’ staff.”

In 2005, the West Virginia State Legislature recognized the lost economic and social value in abandoned and underutilized contaminated lands or “brownfields.” The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers at Marshall and WVU were created to support community efforts and work with the WVDEP and the WV Development Office to turn these Brownfields into productive land again.