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$2.5 Million for Brownfields Environmental Job Training

Release Date: 03/06/2008
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - March 6, 2008) Thirteen communities in 10 states will share more than $2.5 million in job training grants geared toward cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into productive community assets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under its Brownfields Initiative, is awarding grants of up to $200,000 each to non-profit organizations, local governments, a university, and a tribe. The grants will teach environmental assessment and cleanup job skills to individuals living in low-income areas near brownfields sites in Alabama, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington.

"Through brownfields job training grants, EPA is literally putting both people and property back to work," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By teaching people the skills to revitalize their own neighborhoods, EPA is improving lives and livelihoods in communities across the nation."

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $23 million in brownfields job training funds. Approximately 4,000 people have completed training programs, with more than 2,500 obtaining employment in the environmental field, earning an average wage of $13.93 per hour. The program is designed to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

The Bush Administration is committed to addressing brownfields cleanup and revitalization efforts. In 2002, President Bush signed the new Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.

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 March 2008 grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/jt0308/jt0308.htm
Information on Brownfields job training grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm