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LaMATS Speaks at DEQ Brownfields Conference

(Top Left: L-R) Tallulah Mayor Charles Finlayson and DEQ's Rebecca Otte discuss brownfields work with Cliff Palmer, Executive Director, LaMATS. (Middle) City of Alexandria receives $500K from the Environmental Protection Agency to fund a Brownfields Community-wide Assessment. (Bottom L-R) Cliff Palmer and Chad LaComb address group.

Recognizing the importance of remediation for blighted and contaminated properties in nearly all state municipalities, LaMATS co-sponsored this year’s Louisiana Brownfields Conference (dubbed the “Brownfield Bootcamp”), held in Alexandria on October 25-26, and organized by the Department of Environmental Quality’s Brownfields Program.

While highlighting a major grant award Alexandria recently received from the EPA to fund community-wide brownfield assessments, the two-day conference covered all aspects of the remediation process including site assessments, securing grant funding, property adjudication, and working with both public and private sector partners to bring these properties back into commerce.

Cliff Palmer, LaMATS Executive Director, along with Chad LaComb, Senior Economic Planner with the Acadia Planning Commission, led a breakout session entitled, “Assessing the Situation: The Ins and Outs of Brownfields Inventories.” Introduced by DEQ Statewide Brownfield Coordinator Rebecca Otte, LaComb covered protocols used to identify and quantify potential brownfield sites; how to apply for Technical Assistance grants; and how to plan for future uses for the sites following remediation. Palmer detailed the LaMATS Brownfields Service, now two years running, which helps to facilitate local site assessments and connects municipalities with field experts and potential grant funding.

DEQ’s Otte praised LaMATS as a “great partner” in helping local governments understand and navigate the often complex process of brownfields work. “Cliff brings all the important partners to the table, explains what we do, and makes the whole thing more entertaining,” quipped Otte, “and we bring all the boring technical stuff.”

To learn more about LaMATS Brownfields Services, click here.


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