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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health at North Dakota’s Arsenic Trioxide Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Bill Murray, EPA, 303-312-6401, murray.bill@epa.gov

$10 - $25 million in Recovery Act funds added to cleanup at Arsenic Trioxide Superfund Site

(Denver, Colo. – April 15, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced $10 to $25 million in new funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the Arsenic Trioxide Superfund Site in southeast North Dakota. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste cleanup already underway at the site. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating jobs in the area. This Recovery Act funding is part of the $600 million that Congress appropriated to the Federal Superfund remedial program.

"EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Under the Recovery Act, we're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in."

The additional funds will be used to provide 180 households in the Richland, Ransom and Sargent counties with safe drinking water. EPA and the State of North Dakota will connect rural water users to a public water supply because many drinking water wells in the area are contaminated with elevated levels of arsenic. The funding will also pay for the expansion of water treatment and distribution facilities. When these homes are connected to the water system, the cleanup work at the Arsenic Trioxide site will be complete.

"This is how we create new jobs and help stimulate our economy while protecting human health and the environment," said Carol Rushin, EPA Acting Regional Administrator. "The Recovery Act dollars will result in the cleanup and redevelopment of Superfund sites, and restoration of the communities, rivers and water supplies that have been contaminated by mining wastes."

The Federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hardest hit by the recession. Superfund cleanups are major construction projects which employ thousands of workers nationwide. The Superfund program is implementing new or expanded cleanup actions at 50 sites around the country and since it began, the program has completed construction of remedies at more than 1,060 of the 1,596 sites on its National Priorities List.

By starting or speeding up cleanup at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed with which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant economic benefits to local communities including future job creation.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009, and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at www.Recovery.gov.

For more information on the Arsenic Trioxide Superfund Site, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/nd/arsenic/index.html

For more information on the Superfund program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/


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