Community Revitalization in Central Appalachia
The brownfields of central Appalachia present great challenges and great opportunities. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic boundaries, such as those of states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, often interfere with the exchange of information and strategies that could lead to the successful cleanup and redevelopment of these properties. There are numerous agencies that are working on the different issues facing Appalachia, and communication among government, community and nonprofit agencies is key to successful redevelopment of the region.
On Sept. 7-8, 2016, 250 people from various federal and state agencies, local governments and nonprofits gathered in Charleston, West Virginia, for the inaugural Central Appalachian Regional Brownfield Summit. During the summit, participants engaged in lively discussions on how best to address the brownfields in the region.
In order to continue the conversations, a core group has set up the Central Appalachian Brownfields Innovation Network (CABIN). When fully implemented, CABIN will have three components:
The Redevelopment Expert Exchange to facilitate redevelopment experience sharing between communities by matching redevelopment leaders from across the region;
The Front Porch to provide an online platform that allows communities to reach broad populations of peers, agencies and service providers within Central Appalachia and
The Campfire to provide educational opportunities by using more traditional training and educational opportunities.
Details on CABIN can be found at http://brownfieldsinnovation.com/.