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Anniston, AL and Durham, NC Receive EPA Grants to Assist in Environmental Assessment and Redevelopment

Release Date: 03/11/2008
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, niles.laura@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – March 11, 2008) The cities of Anniston, Ala. and Durham, N.C. are among thirteen communities nationally that are receiving EPA brownfields job training grants geared toward cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into productive community assets. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The grants will teach environmental assessment and cleanup job skills to individuals living in low-income areas near brownfields sites.

The City of Anniston, Ala. was selected to receive a $200,000 job training grant. The city plans to recruit 66 students, graduate 60 trainees, and place at least 48 in environmental jobs to target the West Anniston neighborhood, where the majority of the city's oldest foundries and heavy manufacturing facilities existed.

The City of Durham, N.C. was also selected to receive a $200,000 job training grant. Durham is focusing its job training recruitment efforts on residents of the Pettigrew Street Corridor of Northeast Central Durham. The area contains a number of brownfields, including scrap yards, garages, and vacant and abandoned industrial facilities. Durham plans to recruit at least 60 residents, train 48 students, place at least 65 percent of graduates in environmental jobs, and track graduates for a minimum of one year.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $23 million in brownfields job training funds. The program is designed to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants.

EPA's brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded more than 1,000 assessment grants totaling approximately $262 million, 200 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $200 million, and 325 cleanup grants totaling approximately $65 million. EPA's brownfields assistance has attracted more than $9.9 billion in private investment and helped attract more than 45,000 jobs.

Information on grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm

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