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Almost $7 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Train Workers to Clean Contaminated Sites

Release Date: 08/04/2009
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that workers across America will have the opportunity to receive job training to help protect human health and the environment. More than $6.8 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will be invested to train workers to clean up “brownfields” sites, which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants, turning these rundown areas to revitalized, productive properties.

"The recovery act is not only helping train individuals for good jobs in their communities, it's helping them rebuild a lasting foundation for prosperity. With new skills in environmental clean up, these workers will begin restoring their communities into better places for businesses to invest and create jobs,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA is providing solutions in these challenging economic times, and making clear that protecting our health and our environment is a great way to rebuild our economy.”

EPA’s Brownfields Program will award up to $500,000 each to governmental entities and non-profit organizations in 14 communities in 8 states. Funding provided by the recovery act will help train residents living near brownfields sites in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Washington.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. EPA established the Brownfields Job Training Program to help residents take advantage of jobs created by the assessment, as well as to spur cleanup and sustainable reuse of brownfields sites and to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields Law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that 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 recovery.gov.

Information on ARRA brownfields job training grants and other EPA brownfields activities under the recovery act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm

Information on brownfields job training grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm