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EPA Awards Brownfields Job Training Grant to Brownfield Institute in Anniston, Ala.

Release Date: 03/31/2004
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Brownfield Institute in Anniston, Calhoun County, Alabama is one of sixteen cities/communities that has been awarded a total of $2.4 million in grants to provide environmental job training at brownfields sites. Today's announcement marks another step in the EPA's longstanding efforts to promote economic vitality, while protecting the nation's environment and safeguarding public health.

With the $161,000 job training grant, the Brownfield Institute of Anniston plans to train 50 students, graduate 80% of the students, place 90% of graduates, and track students for one year. The 248-hour program will include hazardous waste handling, health and safety, heavy equipment operations, environmental sampling and analysis, and enviroscaping. Students will be recruited from among the low-income residents of west Anniston. Calhoun County and other public and private organizations will help to place graduates in employment opportunities at various brownfields redevelopment projects in the area.

Today's announcement brings to 82 the number of grants awarded since the job training program started in 1998. Sixty-six pilots totaling $13.6 million are underway or complete; more than 1,800 participants have completed training; and more than 1,100 people have obtained employment in the environmental field. Applicants for the job training program must be located in or near a community that currently receives, or has received, financial assistance from EPA for Brownfields-related activities.

In January 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million per year for Brownfields grants, including up to $50 million for the assessment and cleanup of low-risk petroleum contaminated sites. This legislation allows EPA to provide training to expedite assessment, cleanup and preparation of Brownfields sites.

Brownfields are properties, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Brownfields revitalization provides communities with the tools to reduce environmental and health risks, reuse abandoned properties, take advantage of existing infrastructure, create a stronger local tax base, attract new businesses and jobs, create new recreational areas, and reduce the pressure to develop open spaces.

Since 2003, EPA has provided more than $75 million in all types of Brownfields grants to States, local governments and non-profits under the Brownfields law. The Brownfields program has leveraged more than $5 billion in public and private investment resulting from EPA's investment of less than $800 million. Every acre of reclaimed Brownfields saves 4.5 acres of greenspace such as park and recreation areas.

More information on all the grant recipients is available at: