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EPA Provides $1 Million to Clean Up and Revitalize Contaminated Properties in Puerto Rico
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $1 million to Desarrollo Integral del Sur, Inc., an organization representing a coalition of Puerto Rico municipalities, for the assessment of abandoned and contaminated sites in Guanyilla, Penuelas and Ponce. The funding was awarded through EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop, and reuse contaminated properties. Brownfields are properties at which moderate contamination threatens environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment.
“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities. This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”
“Cleaning up brownfields sites protect people’s health and the environment, revitalizes neighborhoods and create jobs,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Brownfields cleanups and the reuse of formerly contaminated properties improve the lives of those who live and work in these communities.”
The Brownfields Program was created by Congress in 2002. It helps states and communities clean up and revitalize properties that may be contaminated and are not currently being put to use. EPA’s Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.
Desarrollo Integral del Sur, Inc., a not for profit organization, will receive $1 million dollars to create an inventory of brownfield sites in the municipalities of Guayanilla, Penuelas and Ponce and assess hazardous waste contamination. Assessments of sites with potential petroleum contamination will also conducted through the EPA brownfields funding.
EPA recently announced a total of more than $69.3 million in new investments across the country that will redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and help create jobs while protecting public health. Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources, and resulted in approximately 70,000 jobs. The 214 grantees receiving grants through the Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants programs include tribes and communities in 39 states across the country.