EPA produces video featuring old industrial properties in WV Northern Panhandle for development groups

The Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle's brownfield redevelopment efforts has been featured in a new U.S. EPA-sponsored video other development groups will be able to use as a reference. The EPA wanted a model that could be replicated by other economic development groups across the country, BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said. “The BDC model, which was also recognized by the Wall Street Journal and Brownfield Renewal magazine, was identified as the best model to leverage USEPA financial and technical assistance for private investment and collaborative planning and development,” he said. The EPA-sponsored video, the only one that's been done, highlights the BDC's efforts to redevelop brownfield sites in Chester (the former Taylor Smith & Taylor pottery); Wellsburg (site of the former Brooke Glass factory) and Beech Bottom (formerly a steel plant). “It's always extremely exciting and at the same time comforting, to know a funder is excited about how you are using their money,” Ford said. “It's always nice to hear you're doing it the right way, the way they intended for you to use their money,” The EPA-produced video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUs7uax2VC4&feature=youtu.be. Ford sees it as an affirmation of the process. “They're pleased with our success and we're pleased to have had the opportunity,” he said. He said it's “exciting to see West Virginia leading the rest of the country in a creative and innovative way,” and credited the “collaborative” mindset of their state and federal partners and local lawmakers as well as philanthropic and private funding sources. “It takes creative, aggressive collaborative thinking to come up with a way to accomplish what we've accomplished,” he said.