The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dipped into the American Recovery Fund and Reinvestment Fund for $42m and added another $13m from its own brownfields funding program.

EPA administrator, Lisa P Jackson, said the cash will be used for revolving loans and subgrants to help communities carry out cleanup activities, redevelopment projects and create jobs for people living near the polluted sites.

She said: “By protecting human health and the environment we’re building a new foundation for prosperity.

“We’re providing solutions in these challenging economic times and making clear that we don’t have to choose between a growing economy and a green environment.”

Revolving loans are government backed funding, which is usually low or interest free, allowing communities to tackle pollution hot spots in their area.

The EPA says 55 state or local governments are set to receive the funding which will be split into 42 schemes funded by the Recovery Act and 18 from the EPA’s Brownfields scheme.

Luke Walsh

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