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Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas will receive funding to create jobs to help the public breathe cleaner air and support brownfields

Release Date: 03/20/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

EPA Announces $211 Million of Recovery Act Funding Available to Reduce Diesel Emissions, Spur Redevelopment, Create Jobs

(Dallas - March 20, 2009) State and local governments, nonprofit organizations and tribal agencies can now apply for up to an estimated $211 million in funding that will help create jobs for redevelopment nationwide and protect communities and the environment from diesel emissions. This is EPA funding available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 that President Obama signed into law Feb. 17, 2009.

Diesel grantees will use the total estimated $206 million to implement clean diesel projects that would cut thousands of tons of diesel emissions, including particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. As a result, the projects would also reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.

The Recovery Act will send about $10 million to states in EPA region 6 to reduce emissions from diesel engines and significantly reduce diesel air pollution. Programs that help get older, more polluting engines and vehicles off the road have been essential to assisting urban cities in achieving clean air goals. The Blue Skyways Collaborative is the primary clean diesel program for region 6 which develops public-private partnerships to reduce air pollution in North America's central corridor. With its 154 partners, the Blue Skyways Collaborative has been extremely successful in saving 36 million gallons of fuel per year, 1.3 million tons of greenhouse gases per year and reducing toxic air pollutants by 44,308 tons per year. Last year, the Collaborative awarded about $4 million, gained 25 members, and increased diesel engine retrofits from 11,742 to 12,742.

Brownfields grantees will use the total estimated $5 million to provide training for jobs and to facilitate job creation in the assessment, remediation, or preparation of brownfields sites for sustainable reuse. EPA anticipates awarding 10-12 cooperative agreements, whose maximum value each shall not exceed $500,000.

EPA’s brownfields program is a proven, results-oriented program and the Recovery Act funding helps take this successful program to more communities across our five state region.

The City of Camden in Arkansas is a perfect example of how the Brownfields jobs program helps communities. In Camden, the city government plans to use its Brownfields job training funds to recruit recent graduates from Camden and surrounding counties and place at least 19 of them in environmental technician jobs. The City will also certify and place 12 other graduates in environmental jobs after they undergo a critical training program. For this program, the City of Camden will work in conjunction with Southern Arkansas University Tech and the Arkansas Workforce Center to conduct three, 344-hour instruction cycles which will include courses in groundwater remediation, disposal of remediated waste, and asbestos supervision.

The Recovery Act job training competitive grants announced today will help other communities replicate Camden's program to train professionals and create skilled jobs that further EPA's mission to protect people where they live, work, learn and play.

Preference will be given to projects that can be started and completed expeditiously. EPA plans to provide the funding in June.

Additional information on EPA Region 6 recovery activities is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/eparecovery/index.htm

To learn more about national American Recovery and Reinvestment Act efforts, please visit http://www.recovery.gov/

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