Federal cash for contam land training

The US authorities are providing $2.5m to help train those working in charities and the public sector in the skills needed to assess and clean contaminated sites.

The funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be given to 13 organisations including universities, local government and a native American tribe.

It will be spent on teaching individuals living near contaminated sites in low-income areas in Alabama, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington state.

"Through brownfields job training grants, EPA is literally putting both people and property back to work," said EPA administrator Stephen L Johnson.

"By teaching people the skills to revitalize their own neighbourhoods, EPA is improving lives and livelihoods in communities across the nation."

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $23 million in brownfields job training funds.

Around 4,000 people have completed training programmes, with more than half of these going on to find work in the environmental field.

The programme is designed to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

In 2002, President Bush signed the new 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.

Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded more than 1,000 assessment grants totalling approximately $262 million, 200 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $200 million, and 325 cleanup grants totaling approximately $65 million.

EPA's brownfields assistance has attracted more than $9.9bn in private investment and helped attract more than 45,000 jobs.

Sam Bond



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