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EPA Meets Day 200 Recovery Act Commitment, Promoting Green Jobs and Healthier Communities / Agency announces it has accelerated or begun cleanup on 20 contaminated U.S. sites

Release Date: 09/03/2009
Contact Information: EPA Press Office, press@epa.gov, 202-564-6794

WASHINGTON – Two-hundred days after passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that the agency has met its goal to initiate or accelerate cleanup work at 20 contaminated Superfund sites from the National Priorities List. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hit hardest by the recession and pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. The Superfund program received $600 million in recovery act funds and, as of day 200, EPA has obligated more than $400 million. The funding will accelerate ongoing cleanup activities or initiate new construction projects, boosting local economies by creating and maintaining jobs while also protecting human health and the environment.

“Two-hundred days after Congress passed the recovery act, EPA projects are up and running and creating jobs across the country. We’re providing real solutions for struggling communities and steadily working to pull our country out of the worst economic downturn in a generation,” said Administrator Jackson. “This is how we build a new foundation for prosperity – by making our communities cleaner, safer places to live, work and grow a business.”

To view a video message from Administrator Jackson on how EPA recovery act projects are creating green jobs and cleaner communities across the country, click here:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/MMwebcon.nsf/HTML/KMON-7VHQ5M?OpenDocument

The swift allocation of recovery act funds has helped spur new jobs and economic opportunities in sites across the country. In New Bedford, Mass., the recovery act is accelerating the pace of the harbor cleanup that was scheduled to take almost four decades. This cleanup, at one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports, will create and save jobs, and generate potential for millions of dollars in economic activity in tourism, development, and shipping in the years ahead.

At the Iron Mountain Mine in Redding, Calif. – one of the nation’s most polluted sites – EPA is using recovery funds to halve the time needed for cleanup. Prior to EPA action, more than one ton of toxic materials were discharged from the Iron Mountain Mine into the waters of the Sacramento River every day. The cleanup will create or save close to 250 jobs in the area. Once completed, the local hydroelectric power plant will use the restored waters to produce more clean energy for the area.

In February, President Obama signed the ARRA. EPA manages more than $7 billion in projects and programs that will invest in environmental protection and provide long-term economic benefits to aid recovery efforts across the nation. As of September 2, EPA has obligated 92 percent of its ARRA program dollars. This means that EPA has doubled its obligations and seen a steady increase in “shovels in the ground” projects since day 100 in May 2009.

President Obama 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 and for EPA specific projects visit:
http://www.epa.gov/recovery.