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ARC Fall Conference to Emphasize the Role of Physical Infrastructure in Economic Development

September 2007


WASHINGTON, September 26, 2007—Investing in and improving Appalachia's infrastructure is the theme of the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) 2007 annual conference, to be held in Charleston, West Virginia, October 24–25. State and local economic development officials, public utility managers and board members, mayors, county executives, state and local environmental representatives, business and community leaders, and interested citizens throughout Appalachia are invited to attend.

Hosted by the state of West Virginia, the conference will explore the ways Appalachian communities can build, improve, and better manage the basic components of physical infrastructure systems.

In a joint statement, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III and ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope said the conference would ""underscore the long-term community benefits of water and sewer infrastructure investments"" and help participants go back to their communities ""to strengthen the foundations"" of their local economies and create jobs.

Infrastructure experts and practitioners will discuss a range of topics at the conference, including:

  • new infrastructure financing options for small communities
  • training and management strategies for small water systems
  • strategies for providing access to broadband networks in rural areas
  • long-term community benefits of water and sewer infrastructure investments
  • alternative wastewater technologies

Keynote speaker Jeff Hughes, director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will address what the national water infrastructure ""gap"" really means for Appalachia and proven solutions for closing the gap in rural communities.

More information about the conference is available by telephone at (202) 884-7748.