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Recovery Act’s One Year Anniversary: Workers in Pacific Northwest Benefit from Investment in Environmental Protection

Release Date: 02/19/2010
Contact Information: Jeff Philip, (206) 553-1465, philip.jeff@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. – Feb. 17, 2010) One year into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Pacific Northwest environmental projects are moving ahead, creating jobs and boosting the economy.  Projects funded by EPA totaling $318 million in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are yielding cleaner air, water and land, and new green jobs.

Two examples of this success can be found in Tacoma, Wash. and Woodburn, Ore.

City of Tacoma Brownfields Job Training Program.  EPA selected the City of Tacoma to receive $500,000 in Recovery Act grant funding to provide job training to assess and clean up contaminated sites known as “brownfields.” Brownfields workers will be able to turn rundown eyesores into revitalized, productive properties.  The city is training 200 participants, with a goal of placing 150 graduates in environmental jobs.  They will track graduates’ progress for one year. The training program consists of eight, 98-hour or 212-hour cycles on four tracks.

City of Woodburn Safe Water Expansion. This project, using $2.8 million in Recovery Act funds, will provide safe drinking water to residents of three modular home communities that currently receive water that exceeds EPA established safe threshold for arsenic. The safe drinking water will be provided by extending City of Woodburn water supply to these communities.

“It’s been a year since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Clearly, we are seeing positive results in green jobs,” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Michelle Pirzadeh.  “Many projects are already changing the employment figures, and as construction season begins we expect to see even more people back on job sites that will have a lasting environmental impact.”

On Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, providing more than $7 billion nationwide for environmental projects.   

State by state allocations of Recovery Act Funds:

Alaska:
• Clean Water Projects: $23.7 million
• Drinking Water Projects: $19.5 million
• Clean Diesel Projects: $1.73 million
• Leaking Underground Storage Tank Projects: $1 million
• Brownfields Projects: $57,000
• TOTAL: $46 MILLION

Idaho:
• Clean Water Projects: $19.4 million
• Drinking Water Projects: $19.5 million
• Superfund Projects: $16.8 million
• Clean Diesel Projects: $1.73 million
• Leaking Underground Storage Tank Projects: $1.3 million
• Brownfields Projects: $1.15 million
• TOTAL: $59.9 MILLION

Oregon:
• Clean Water Projects: $44.7 million
• Drinking Water Projects: $28.5 million
• Clean Diesel Projects: $4.3 million
• Leaking Underground Storage Tank Projects: $2.7 million
• Brownfields Projects: $657,000
• TOTAL: $80.9 MILLION

Washington:
• Clean Water Projects: $68.8 million
• Drinking Water Projects: $41.8 million
• Superfund Projects: $7.5 million
• Clean Diesel Projects: $5.8 million
• Leaking Underground Storage Tank Projects: $3.4 million
• Brownfields Projects: $3.5 million
• TOTAL: $131 MILLION

When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he directed that it be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can visit http://www.recovery.gov to see how every dollar is being invested.