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Hartford Group Will Provide Green Job Training through EPA Brownfields Grant

Release Date: 08/07/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Aug. 7, 2009) – EPA has selected the North Star Center for Human Development in Hartford, Conn. to receive $500,000 in grant funding to help train community members for jobs assessing and cleaning up brownfields sites. Funding for these grants is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“EPA's Brownfield's program has been an incredibly powerful economic engine, helping communities throughout New England to assess, clean and reclaim abandoned parcels, returning property to productive uses," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Not only will this funding help jump start local economies – we’ll be providing needed job training and putting people to work creating a cleaner and healthier environment."

The North Star Center for Human Development is a community-based non-profit organization that serves the disadvantaged community of North Hartford, Conn. With the EPA brownfields job training grant, North Star will train at least 140 local individuals. North Star has customized it training course curriculum to offer an 8-week Green Environment Certificate Program in topics including renewable energy/green initiatives/efficient building designs; water resources and air pollution; and asbestos, lead and hazardous waste treatment, including a 40-hour HAZWOPER course. North Star will use the EPA funds for outreach, recruitment, curriculum development, training, placement and monitoring trainees. North Star has previously been the recipient of a 2006 Brownfields Job Training Grant and a 2007 Brownfields Cleanup grant.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. More than 5,000 people have completed EPA-funded training programs, with more than 3,250 obtaining employment in the environmental fields, earning an average wage of $13.81 per hour. EPA established the Brownfields Job Training Program to help residents take advantage of jobs created by the assessment, cleanup and sustainable reuse of brownfields sites and to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields Law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that 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 Recovery.gov.

More information:

Brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: (www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm)

EPA’s Brownfields program in New England (www.epa.gov/ne/brownfields/grants.html)

Brownfields job training grants (www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm)

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