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EPA: $1 Million in Grants for Contaminated Land Cleanup, Economic Development in New Mexico

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $1 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities in New Mexico clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The grant will help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “A revitalized brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

“Under the Recovery Act, EPA is turning even more problem properties into community assets,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “These funds will help breathe new life into brownfields sites in northwest New Mexico.”

The Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments was selected to receive an assessment grant of $1 million to conduct environmental site assessments, cleanup planning, health monitoring, and community outreach activities.

The grants will help to assess, cleanup 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 development 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 on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm .

Additional information on the EPA Region 6 brownfields recipients and their projects is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6sf/bfpages/sfbfhome.htm .

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