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EPA and Baltimore Honor First Grads of Innovative Environmental Job Training Program
Release Date: 5/2/2003
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
BALTIMORE – The first nine students to complete a new kind of environmental job training, graduated from the “B’More Green” program today. This unique program is designed to help people to from low-income areas of Baltimore develop marketable environmental skills.
In 2001, EPA awarded the non-profit Civic Works organization a $200,000 brownfields job training grant for the “B’More Green” program, a full-time, eight-week program. Students are recruited from Baltimore, which is heavily impacted by brownfields.
Brownfields are abandoned, industrial properties where environmental contamination has been a barrier to redevelopment or reuse.
“The B’More Green training program is an important and innovative step forward in dealing with low-level contamination in urban areas. Today’s graduates have gained marketable skills that are necessary to enhance the urban environment through wetlands cleanup and habitat restoration,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s regional administrator.
Today’s graduates have successfully completed the innovative training program which focuses on remediation and environmental restoration of urban properties with low-level contamination. The curriculum included, soil science, botany, wetlands mitigation, traditional hazardous material training, and innovative cleanup techniques such as phytoremediation (cleaning contaminated soils with plants) and environmental landscaping.
“Civic Works is very proud of the first graduates of B'more Green. Having received intensive training in environmental technology, they will bring unique skills as members of Baltimore's brownfields and green engineering workforce. Civic Works wishes to thank the Environmental Protection Agency, which is funding and supporting this important program,” said Civic Works Executive Director Dana Stein.
The University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Trust, and various other private and public partners have also contributed funds and technical assistance to the B’More Green program.
Training and career placement efforts will be supported by Civic Works and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension. The program’s next class of students is scheduled to begin the program in June.
The EPA job training grant is used in cooperation with Baltimore’s brownfields assessment demonstration pilot that was awarded by EPA in 1995. To date, EPA has awarded $2.8 million in redevelopment pilot funding in Maryland to continue to assess, clean up and revitalize brownfield properties. Baltimore’s brownfields assessment pilot, funded by a grant from EPA, has identified over 500 brownfields.
To date, EPA has awarded 23 job training pilots throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
According to an independent study conducted by the Council for Urban Economic Development, brownfields revitalization has created more than 22,000 permanent jobs and leveraged $2.48 in private investment for every $1 spent by federal, state, or local governments.
Since 1993, EPA has awarded more than $250 million in brownfields grants to cities, counties, tribes, states, non-profits and educational institutions nationwide. For more information on EPA’s job training grants and brownfields program, go to www.epa.gov/brownfields.