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EPA Awards Two Brownfields Job Training Grants

Release Date: 03/06/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

(Dallas, Texas – March 6, 2008) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that two organizations in Louisiana have been selected to receive brownfields job training grants of $399,000. The grants will teach environmental assessment and cleanup skills, place graduates in environmental jobs and track students for one year.

The EPA awarded $200,000 to Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana, Inc. in New Orleans, and $199,999 to Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA).

“These grants are achieving results,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “They train people for important environmental jobs - jobs that restore properties and turn them into community assets of local pride.”

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana plans to train 40 students, place 80 percent of graduates in environmental jobs or post-secondary education, and track students for one year. The training program will consist of four 13-week, 404-hour training cycles that will offer certifications in mold, lead, and asbestos abatement, and construction safety. Additional training will include coursework in engineering, debris removal, and federal, state, and local environmental rules and regulations.

Southern University at Shreveport plans to train 37 students, place 31 graduates in environmental jobs and track them for one year. The training program will consist of three, 121-hour training cycles comprising technical instruction, safety, asbestos abatement, CPR, and first aid. Students will be recruited from low-to-moderate income populations living in areas impacted by brownfields.

“The brownfields job training grants will benefit Louisiana by providing resources and education for mostly low-income and minority residents so they can gain the knowledge needed to enter the environmental field,” said Louis Buatt, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Assistant Secretary. “These grants will provide unemployed and underemployed residents with the skills needed to sustain employment.”

A brownfield is a property where expansion or reuse may be complicated by pollutants or a perception that the property is contaminated. Brownfields job training grants encourage tribal, local, state and federal agencies, communities, job training organizations, non-profit agencies and others to work together to develop and foster long term employment through environmental training.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $23 million in brownfields job training funds. Approximately 4,000 people have completed training programs, with more than 2,500 obtaining employment in the environmental field. The program is designed to ensure than the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

Further information on EPA’s brownfields program is available at

More about activities in EPA Region 6:

EPA audio file is available at