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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health at Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – April 15, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced more than $25 million in new funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the Tar Creek Superfund site in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste clean-up already underway at the site. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating jobs in the area. This Recovery Act funding is part of the $600 million that Congress appropriated to the Federal Superfund remedial program.

“EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Under the Recovery Act, we're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in.”

EPA has worked with federal, state and tribal partners at an unprecedented level of cooperation for more than two decades to clean up the Tar Creek site. Recovery Act funding will accelerate the relocation of residents living at the Superfund site. This investment will accelerate cleanup by making possible the removal and consolidation of smaller chat piles.

“This infusion of Recovery Act funding will help relocate the families living in harm’s way,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “Today’s investment is a win-win. It makes it possible for the next phase of clean up work to begin months earlier than planned and it creates jobs in Oklahoma.”

The Federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hardest hit by the recession. Superfund cleanups are major construction projects which employ thousands of workers nationwide. The Superfund program is implementing new or expanded cleanup actions at 50 sites around the country and since it began, the program has completed construction of remedies at more than 1,060 of the 1,596 sites on its National Priorities List.

By starting or speeding up cleanup at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed with which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant economic benefits to local communities including future job creation.

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

For more information on the Tar Creek Superfund Site, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region6/

For more information on the Superfund program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/


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