Technical Assistance

Intro Brownfields Finance Course
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern


The Intro Brownfields Finance Course is the industry’s only comprehensive training curriculum that helps economic developers, policymakers, and real estate professionals understand and master the financing strategies for the lifecycle of a brownfield property. During this course, attendees will be guided through the entire brownfield redevelopment process and leave the course with an understanding of the basics of brownfields, the legal and regulatory challenges, and the financing tools available to clean up and build up these contaminated or polluted sites.

Brownfields pose both perceived and real threats to the health, safety, and economic future of many communities. These sites often come with lingering legal, regulatory, and site control challenges on top of the underlying environmental hurdles causing significant roadblocks for development. This course will explore the financing tools available to projects ranging from gas station clean-up to larger adaptive reuse case studies of major legacy site contamination sites.

This course will qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Join us online, and start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.


Course Objectives

  • Understand the basics of brownfields
  • Learn the history of contamination, brownfields development and redevelopment, and the clean up movement
  • Examine the legal and regulatory landscape
  • Discuss barriers to clean up, including financial, environmental, planning, site control, and liability
  • Discover essential financing sources for clean up and redevelopment, including tax credits, TIF, bonds, and RLFs
  • Evaluate the potential financing tools available including the pros and cons of each
  • Consider build out strategies that incorporate image, community buy-in, developers, and land control
  • Discuss case studies from urban, suburban, rural, adaptive reuse, creative reuse, and historic developments

Topics Covered

  • Definitions, descriptions, and terms in brownfield redevelopment
  • The basics and history of brownfield clean-up
  • Environmental, legal, and regulatory barriers to clean up and redevelopment
  • Clean up financing programs, tools, resources, and mechanisms
  • Post clean up financing methods, tools, programs and partnerships
  • Addressing misperceptions and image challenges
  • Layered financing models
  • Case studies – urban, suburban, rural, legacy, adaptive reuse and public-private partnerships

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond issuers
  • Economic development professionals
  • Community development professionals
  • Elected officials
  • Government and nonprofit finance officers
  • Corporate trustees
  • Legal counsel
  • Underwriters
  • Commercial bankers
  • Accountants
  • Financial advisors
  • Policy makers

Course Advisor

Brendan Barry Brendan Barry
Council of Development Finance Agencies
Coordinator, Research & Technical Assistance
Brendan Barry is a Coordinator of Research & Technical Assistance at the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). His areas of focus include tribal finance, tax increment finance, cannabis finance, and federal finance programs. Brendan... (More)


Day 1

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Welcome & Overview
This will be a brief welcome to participants with our course advisor providing a brief introduction to the course.
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Brownfields 101
The course will begin with an introduction to the basic terms, political history, and established process for clean up and redevelopment. With an estimated 500,000+ brownfield sites in the United States, every state and community have been affected. This session will outline the important economic impacts and market factors of brownfields, and introduce the steps that the government and industry have taken to address clean up and establish environmental controls. This opening session will also examine trends in brownfields redevelopment including transit-oriented development, solid waste, brightfields, and other forms of adaptive reuse.
1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Brownfields Legal and Regulatory Landscape
Understanding the legal and regulatory environment surrounding brownfields sites is critical to seeing success during the clean up and redevelopment phases. Learn about the various environmental and tax laws governing brownfields clean up and the role that federal, state, and local governments play in the regulatory process. We will outline some of the most common barriers to clean up, including financing, environmental, planning, site control, and who carries the liability.
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Redevelopment Process and the Partners Involved
One of the most important steps in a successful brownfields redevelopment is knowing your remediation and financing strategies, and how the two inform each other. These strategies often work in tandem to see a project to completion. During this session, we will consider the necessary components of an effective redevelopment strategy from project assessment to completion. Topics covered include the players involved, identifying partners, and working with developers, state voluntary cleanup programs, land control, and reuse planning.
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Federal Funding Sources for Brownfields
The final session will focus on the financing programs and tools available from federal agencies for brownfields clean up and redevelopment. A variety of federal agencies including the EPA, EDA, & HUD will be speaking to discuss their programs, explain how to use them, and help you consider which financing strategies to employ given certain types of brownfields sites. Furthermore, EPA will discuss in detail their assessment and, Cleanup & RLF capitalization funds available to communities.
5:00 PM

Day 2

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Revisiting Day One
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM
Financing Brownfields Redevelopment: Bedrock and Targeted Tools
Several tools exist in the development finance toolbox for brownfields redevelopment. Learning with case studies, we will consider how bonds, tax increment financing, and special assessments can be applied to various brownfields redevelopment projects. This session will set the stage for the final phase of the course as we look at how these financing tools are layered to address the entire financing needs of a project’s capital stack.
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Financing Brownfields Redevelopment: Investment Tools
In this session, attendees will learn about the investment tools available for catalyzing job growth, real estate development, and community revitalization through brownfields redevelopment. Presentations will cover several highly successful tax credit programs and how to effectively apply these programs to brownfield redevelopment opportunities. Case studies will be used to show how tax credits combine with other sources of capital to finance a project.
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
State and Local Financing Strategies for Brownfields
This session will showcase how communities across the country have financed brownfields redevelopment. Several different types of projects will be presented, including urban, suburban, and rural projects, along with creative approaches for adaptive reuse, historic developments, and more. Discussion will focus on the various state and local financing resources, how the capital was assembled, and important items to consider when layering tools given the scope of the project. This session will include a look at how Brownfield Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) can be used to catalyze redevelopment projects of any size.
5:00 PM


The Intro Brownfields Finance Course is not currently on the schedule. Please check back for updates.


This training course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Scholarships are available to attend this event. Learn more about the CDFA Scholarship Program, and submit your application today.

CDFA permits only one person to log in and participate in the course. If multiple people are accessing the course without paying to attend, we will terminate the connection and access. CDFA offers group discounts for organizations that wish to register multiple people.
Early Bird Rates
(Ends November 18)
CDFA Member: $550
Non-Member: $825
Standard Rates
(After November 18)
CDFA Member: $600
Non-Member: $875