Activities

CBI  operates within the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of academic and industrial partners. CBI has a three-fold mission:

Workforce Development

CBI offers opportunities to University of Connecticut students to learn and practice the various aspects of brownfield redevelopment projects, through the following activities:

  • Service Learning - The "Brownfields Corps": During the fall semester, approximately 25 to 30 students enroll in the class and receive training on brownfields redevelopment while working on preparing EPA grant proposals together with communities in CT. Over the last three academic years, a total of 82 students from a variety of different backgrounds have taken the Brownfields Corps course. The CBI advisory board and other partners are involved in the course and give guest lectures of various topics including the state and federal environmental regulatory framework, environmental site investigation and remediation, environmental justice and public policy, community engagement, and redevelopment strategies.
  • Practicum Experience: Students that complete the first semester of Brownfield Corps can continue in a second semester of practical application of their knowledge in real brownfield projects, while serving CT communities. The service learning course is tied to the Municipal Assistance Program and students receive guidance from professionals in the field (Advisory Board members or other volunteers) in addition to UConn faculty.
  • Internships: Paid internships with CBI are available to students to work with communities on typically larger projects, for example development of brownfield inventories across a region, or to assist with the organization and delivery of workshops devoted to brownfield-related issues.

Community Support

CBI provides technical assistance to any entity within Connecticut that is eligible for federal EPA grants, including:

  • Cities and Towns
  • Regional Planning Organizations/ Councils of Government
  • State-sanctioned Economic Development Corporations
  • Non-profit organizations including brownfield land banks

We provide both continuous direct technical assistance through our staff, as well as assistance through our Municipal Assistance Program, which is administered twice a year. The following services are provided with direct assistance:

  • Review and summary preparation of technical documents (e.g. Past Environmental Site Assessment reports)
  • Review of grant proposals
  • Information on grant funding sources and eligibility issues
  • Assistance with legal issues in collaboration with our partner, the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative
  • Custom design and delivery of training modules to staff members on brownfield issues

Additional information on the services provided through the Municipal Assistance Program are provided on the For Communities page.

Map of communities in the CBI MAP 2017-2020

Stakeholder Involvement

CBI facilitates interactions of a variety of stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment, as well as offers opportunities for dissemination of relevant information.

Our Advisory Board includes members of state and municipal government, as well as representatives of a variety of private industry involved in the field. The Advisory Board meets twice a year and offers feedback and direction to CBI, and is a source of continuous support in the form of student mentoring and course participation.

We offer workshops and webinars, participate in local, regional and national conferences and facilitate connections between stakeholders, e.g. EPA Region 1 and municipalities, land banks and municipalities.

 

Over the course of three years of existence, the record of CBI activities is shown in the table below.

CBI metrics
CBI MAP # of communities applied for CBI's Municipal Assistance Program 54
# of communities supported 31
# of EPA grants supported 19
# of EPA grants submitted 12
# of EPA grants awarded 4
EPA funds awarded 1100000
# of technical projects supported 12
Outreach - Stakeholder education # of workshops organized/presented 7
# of webinars 7
Workforce development # of students in the brownfields course 103
# of internships offered 10