John Hargraves, Regional Manager of the Brownfield Group at PM Environmental, put his real-life experience and expertise on display at this year's SouthEastern Environmental Conference, this week at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama.
The three-day conference, put on by the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies, addressed the broad challenges of energy and resources, waste reduction, compliance, management and sustainability. The event was open to business professionals of all industries, with a focus on manufacturers, utilities and municipalities.
Hargraves 75-minute presentation, "Rural Brownfield Redevelopment Success Stories in the Mid-South” highlighted PM Environmental's successful brownfield projects. Included were the redevelopment of the first college for African-American women, the Mary Holmes College, in West Point, Mississippi, and reuse of a vacant production plant for Jackson Kayak, receipient of the Tennessee Governor's award for trade excellence. Two of the projects Hargraves presented were the first in Mississippi history to be awarded EPA clean up grants.
"All of the successes resonated with the audience in different ways," said Hargraves. "But the common interest seemed to be that rural communities could find the motivation and funding to make a positive change."