This week Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth will speak at the International City/County Management Association’s 99th Annual Conference in Boston. Hayworth was asked to tell the story of the Iowa River Landing given the Coralville development’s success with the EPA’s Brownfield Program.

Since its inception in 1995, the EPA’s Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented initiative that has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. The Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.

Prior to the development of the Iowa River Landing, the Coralville riverfront area was an industrial park plagued by contamination. The Iowa River Landing was designed by the City of Coralville to address these issues head-on by removing blight, combating sprawl, reclaiming the Iowa River area, and improving one of the communities most traveled gateways.

Through partnerships and grant funding, brownfield assessment and clean-up began in the late 1990s, with removal of 197,000 cubic yards of arsenic-impacted soils and fills, 74 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soils, and treatment of 103,000 gallons of petroleum-impacted groundwater.  The effort also included recycling of 25,000 tons of concrete and asphalt for sub-base for city streets and trails.

The City’s innovative plan included partnerships with the Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Economic Development, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the University of Iowa, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The Iowa River Landing is no stranger to national recognition in Brownfields development. In 2008, the Iowa River Landing received national recognition when the project received a 1st Runner Up in the Phoenix Award national competition as well as regional trophies for the Phoenix program and Success in Cultivating Sustainable Communities. The Phoenix Awards are widely recognized as the outstanding award for achievement of excellence in Brownfield redevelopment, and often are called “the Brownfields equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscar.”

Hayworth’s session at the ICMA annual conference, which highlights the success story of the Iowa River Landing, takes place Tuesday, September 22nd.