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Mining communities & watersheds revitalization workshop to be held Nov. 3 at national Brownfields Conference in Denver

Release Date: 10/13/2005
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      DENVER – A “Mining Communities & Watersheds in Transition Revitalization Workshop” will be conducted from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 during the 2005 Brownfields Conference at the Colorado Convention Center here. Participation in the conference and workshop is free.

"Worldwide, communities that have been involved in extensive coal and hardrock mining for 75 to 150 years are now in transition from mining-dominated economies, said Mike Wireman, U.S. EPA Region 8’s international mining expert.

“There are many serious socio-economic, legal and environmental issues involved in transition. A successful transition to a sustainable future that does not rely primarily on mining requires extensive community involvement, sound science, management of environmental liability and a long-term commitment,” he said. “This workshop provides a forum for a holistic look at these issues."

Among the experts who will participate are: Alan Berger, associate professor in landscape architecture at the Harvard Design School and author of “Reclaiming The West;” Caroline Digby, development director, Post-Mining Alliance, Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, England, formerly with the International Council for Mining and Metals.

Nat Miullo, EPA Revitalization Coordinator and Workshop facilitator, said, “This workshop will be an exciting event that helps enable communities in transition. It’s the culmination of hard work from an idea about a recipe for mining communities to use in creating a sustainable future.”

The interactive workshop will be divided into three sessions.

The first session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and entitled “Prospecting for a Vision, Experts Speak,” will feature international, national and local experts.

The second session, from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and entitled “Rock Solid Future,” will feature a local case studies panel.

The third session, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and entitled “Hitting Pay Dirt,” will be a work session to create a handbook for mining communities in transition.

The Handbook will serve as a roadmap for communities to transition from a mining-based economy to a revitalized, sustainable future, compatible with rural values and visions.

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International City/County Managers Association, the conference, dubbed, “Brownfields 2005: Reaching New Heights in Redevelopment,” will to be held Nov. 2 – 4 at the Colorado Convention Center and focus on nationwide Brownfields issues as well as the unique environmental issues facing the West, including Tribal Brownfields, mining sites, watershed issues, rural community issues and sustainability.

For more information regarding the conference, and to register, visit the 2005 Brownfields Conference website:, or contact the Region 8 Coordinator, Robin Coursen at