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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health at Bunker Hill Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Angela Chung, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-6511, chung.angela@epa.gov; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

EPA: $10-25 million in Recovery Act funds added to cleanup at Bunker Hill Superfund Site

(Seattle, WA -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 Bunker Hill Superfund site near Kellogg, ID. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste clean-up already underway at the site. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating more jobs throughout the Coeur d’Alene Basin. 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.”

At the Bunker Hill site, the stimulus funding will be used to expedite the Coeur d’Alene Basin residential cleanup program. The residential cleanup program is a top priority for the site and key to protecting public health. EPA and the State of Idaho have been cleaning up heavy metals contamination - primarily lead - in Basin community and residential areas since 1998.

Dan Opalski, EPA’s Superfund Cleanup Office Director in Seattle, sees the Recovery funding putting the ongoing Basin yard cleanup program on a faster track.

“With the aid of Recovery Act funds, EPA intends to complete the Basin residential yard program by 2013, two years earlier than originally planned. By completing this residential cleanup, another landmark milestone will be reached in reducing risks to children’s health in the Coeur d'Alene Basin communities

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 http://www.Recovery.gov.

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National Press Release: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d985312f6895893b852574ac005f1e40/843a292279cafa29852575990056e22e!OpenDocument

Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/eparecovery/bunker_hill.html

For more information on the Bunker Hill Superfund Site, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/sites/bh

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