$10m Federal cash to help Michigan clean-up

The US environmental Protection Agency has announced the launch of a grant fund worth $10.3m to help communities in Michigan with the costs of cleaning up contaminated land.

The funding comes from President Barack Obama's Recovery Act and the EPA's well-established brownfields funding programme.

Michigan is the top recipient of these funds, receiving more total grant money than any other state in this new announcement.

The money will help revitalise former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive business and community institutions.

"Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities," said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

"A revitalised brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods."

Dr Ed Montgomery, President Obama's director of recovery for auto communities and workers said: "Today's announcement gives Michigan a needed boost during these difficult times for the auto industry and reiterates the President's commitment to creating new jobs in manufacturing communities.

"These grants are one important initial short term step to creating a partnership that will build on Michigan's assets - its workers, leadership and infrastructure - to revitalise Michigan in the long term.

"I thank Administrator Jackson for her help making these grants a reality."
As well as being available for the remediation of 'traditional' post-industrial brownfield sites, the grants will be available for the clean-up of mine-scarred land and sites contaminated by petrol or the manufacture of illegal drugs.

The EPA's Brownfields Programme encourages development of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

Sam Bond



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