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U.S. EPA awards CNMI $400,000 to assess and cleanup Brownfields

Release Date: 04/08/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(04/08/09) HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today a total of $400,000 in Brownfields grants to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The CNMI Division of Environmental Quality will receive $200,000 to continue assessment of hazardous substance sites and support community outreach activities. Another $200,000 will be provided to the CNMI Dept. of Public Lands for the cleanup of WWII unexploded ordnance on the northern end of Saipan. Eventually, this cleanup will allow for the development of approximately 500 new homesteads for local residents.

"The EPA is very pleased to provide this funding for work in the CNMI," said Debbie Schechter, manager of the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Brownfields program. "Work conducted with our Brownfields program grants will provide the type of assistance necessary to transform these now idle lands into community assets."

Communities and agencies in 43 states, two Tribal Nations and two territories will share over $74 million in Brownfields grants designed to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites and allow for productive community use.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The EPA’s Brownfields program authorizes up to $250 million in grant funds annually and encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA awarded 1255 assessment grants totaling over $298.6 million, 230 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $217.7 million, and 426 cleanup grants totaling $78.7 million.

For more information, please visit: http://epa.gov/brownfields/

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