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EPA Announces $400,000 for Brownfields Projects in Puerto Rico

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Mary Mears (212) 637-3673, mears.mary@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The municipality of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico has been chosen to receive $400,000 to help assess, cleanup and revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The two $200,000 grants, to be awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are from the EPA brownfields general program funding.

“Assessing sites so that they can be cleaned up and reused will provide the catalyst to improve the lives of residents living in or near Aguadilla,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou, “By revitalizing these sites, we will reduce threats to human health and the environment, create green jobs, promote community involvement, and attract investment in local neighborhoods.”

Applicants selected to receive brownfields general program funds are:

Aguadilla, PR
$200,000 to assess sites with hazardous substances
$200,000 to assess sites with petroleum

EPA has selected the Municipality of Aguadilla for two brownfields assessment grants. Communitywide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct at least seven Phase I and two Phase II environmental site assessments. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct at least seven Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop an inventory of sites, conduct cleanup planning, and support community outreach activities.

The grants will help to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. 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 addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

The Brownfields Program encourages cleanup and redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 brownfields sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, EPA has awarded 1449 assessment grants totaling over $337.3 million, 242 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $233.4 million, and 534 cleanup grants totaling $93.3 million.

Information on the national EPA Brownfields Program, including brownfields activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is also available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.

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