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EPA Dollars Will Revitalize Puerto Rico Communities

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662, totman.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) Five municipalities in Puerto Rico will be the beneficiaries of a total of $2 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will aid in helping them identify sites with opportunities for cleanup and redevelopment. Properties where reuse, redevelopment or expansion is hindered by pollution or potential pollution are known as brownfields. EPA’s brownfields program empowers communities and other stakeholders to work together to assess, clean up and sustainably reuse brownfields.

“Brownfields grants equip communities with the funding to tackle eyesores and polluted sites and to turn them into valuable resources,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “These assessment grants will not only help the recipients assess abandoned sites, but will empower these communities to take the first important step toward putting useless sites into useful service.”

The following municipalities will each receive $400,000 in the form of two $200,000 grants to assess sites with hazardous substances and to assess facilities like gas stations that might have petroleum contamination:

The Municipality of Caguas

    The Municipality of Canovanas

    The Municipality of Salinas

    The Municipality of Toa Baja

    The Municipality of Yauco

    The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites. Nationally, 194 assessment grants totaling $38.7 million were issued this year and will be used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfields sites or as part of a community-wide effort. EPA also provides grants for cleanup of hazardous substances, revolving loan funds and job training. In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields grants have helped convert industrial properties to parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails and gas stations to housing. As of January 31, 2008, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $10.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding and 47,201 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

    For more information on the grant recipients, go to: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/08arc/alpha.htm or, for general information on the brownfields program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/brownfields.

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