Connecticut Brownfields Initiative Evolves to Technical Assistance for Brownfields Program
By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering
After the successful awarding of the University of Connecticut as a regional Technical Assistance to Brownfields provider by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, UConn will now be offering its expertise and services to communities and organizations around New England, expanding the scope of the Connecticut Brownfields Initiative.
The Connecticut Brownfields Initiative, launched in 2017, was a program run specifically to assist communities in Connecticut with multiple brownfield sites that have negative impacts on the environment, public health and economic development. Throughout its four years of existence, the program combined hands-on education and outreach skills for students in the program, with pro-bono assistance to local communities.
The new UConn TAB program is expanding on efforts originated in CBI and replicating that model for any municipality, regional planning organization or non-profit located in EPA Region 1, which includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.
Because of the increased reach of the TAB program, and the overlap of activities, UConn TAB Director and Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head Marisa Chrysochoou commented that this is the perfect time to merge CBI and its activities into the TAB program.
“When we launched CBI in 2017 to serve Connecticut communities, our goal all along was to acquire additional resources and serve more communities” Chrysochoou said. “As the regional TAB provider, we’re integrating CBI, and becoming one, cohesive organization that serves all of our partners in the region. Our collaboration with the Center for Land Use Education and Research, the School of Social Work, and the Center for Population Health at UConn allows us to tap into additional expertise needed to serve communities.”
The UConn TAB program is offering a variety of services to communities, including research support for grant proposals, direct technical assistance for brownfield projects, community engagement support, continuing education and networking opportunities. The service learning program Brownfield Corps will continue to be an integral part of TAB, offering experiential learning that is a cornerstone of Life-Transformative Education.
“We are excited to offer our student opportunities to work with a wider range of communities beyond Connecticut”, said Assistant Research Professor and TAB Program Manager Nefeli Bompoti. “Many of our students come from neighboring states and will have the opportunity to forge professional connections closer to home, and learn about a wider range of issues that New England communities face”.
For more information on all the services offered by UConn’s TAB program, or to contact the program as a potential partner, please visit https://tab.program.uconn.edu.