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EPA awards $200,000 Brownfields grant to CNMI DEQ

Release Date: 05/14/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(05/14/07) HONOLULU -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a$200,000 grant to the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality for assessment and inventories of sites that are abandoned, potentially contaminated properties.

Nationally, the EPA awarded 294 grants totaling $70.7 million today as part of the agency’s Brownfields program, which provides funding to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties.

“The brownfields program empowers communities to return blighted eyesores into community assets,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Office in San Francisco. “These grants provide jobs, curb suburban sprawl and clean up contaminated properties all at once. We look forward to helping more communities throughout the Pacific Southwest take advantage of this win-win grants program.”

The DEQ will use the funding to conduct community outreach activities and for 28 petroleum contamination assessments on the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, the EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing. EPA's brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,029 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 10,504 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties."

For more information on the grant recipients, go to: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields
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