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EPA Provides $600,000 in Brownfields Cleanup Funding In New York City; Grants Will Fund Job Training Program and Assessments in Communities Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Release Date: 05/28/2014
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $400,000 to the City of New York to assess abandoned and contaminated properties in neighborhoods, including areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and is providing a $200,000 job training grant to St. Nicks Alliance in Brooklyn. The funding was awarded through the EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up and reuse previously contaminated properties. Brownfields are properties with moderate contamination which can interfere with redevelopment.

      “EPA brownfields grants allow abandoned and contaminated sites to be put to good use as parks, new housing and businesses that create jobs and help revitalize neighborhoods,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This funding will lead to living wage jobs, will protect the health of area residents, and will improve the quality of people’s lives.”

      New York City will use a $200,000 hazardous substances assessment grant and a $200,000 petroleum assessment grant to determine public health and environmental impacts of sites in the South Bronx, Harlem and East New York, as well as in communities that were badly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Grant funds will also be used to support community outreach activities in these areas.

      St. Nicks Alliance of Greenpoint, Brooklyn will use a $200,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant to train 56 people. The core training program includes 126 hours of instruction including hazardous waste operations and emergency response, Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction health and safety, mold and asbestos remediation, confined space entry, innovative technologies, as well as an introduction course on the environmental industry. Some participants will be able to obtain a Class B truck driving license. St. Nicks Alliance will work with private companies and government agencies to place graduates in environmental jobs.

      Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. The EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and others to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

      Additional information on EPA Brownfields activities is available at http://epa.gov/brownfields.

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