Agency Awards $2.6 M for Brownfields Job Training

Thirteen communities in 12 states will share $2.6 million in job training grants geared toward cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into productive community assets, according to a Jan. 15 press release.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program is awarding grants of $200,000 each to non-profit organizations, workforce investment boards, and state and local governments. The grants will teach environmental assessment and clean-up job skills to individuals living in areas near brownfields sites in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

"EPA's Brownfields Program is helping revitalize and restore neighborhoods nationwide," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "These grants will help community members convert contaminated land into sources of public pride."

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. More than 4,000 people have completed training programs, with more than 3,000 obtaining employment in the environmental fields, earning an average wage of $13.84 per hour. The program is designed to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities. In 2002, Congress passed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. EPA's brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. For information on the latest grant recipients, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/09jtgrants/index.htm.

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