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EPA Provides Environmental Job Training Grant to Shreveport for Evacuees

Release Date: 11/4/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the city of Shreveport, La. $200,000 to provide environmental cleanup training to local workers displaced by the hurricanes.

     The grant comes on the heels of a request from the city of Shreveport to provide funds for local training in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  The city will focus on environmental cleanup training for evacuees living in the area to speed redevelopment at sites contaminated with hazardous substances.

     The city plans to train 50 employees in environmental cleanup over the next two years. "We will continue to do whatever we can at the EPA to help clean up and redevelop areas damaged by the hurricanes," said Richard Greene, administrator of the EPA's regional office in Dallas. "This grant will help train evacuees in critical areas such as environmental testing, remediation and reuse."

     "We appreciate this opportunity to partner with the EPA in training that is extremely timely for Louisiana and other hurricane-affected regions," said Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower.  "The federal dollars will be used at the local level to train people who can then effect positive change in hurricane-damaged regions. It is a win-win for all involved."

Additional efforts to hire local workers

     As part of its ongoing cleanup of the parishes damaged by the hurricanes, the EPA is hiring local workers to help its contractors collect household hazardous waste and other materials.  EPA contractors and subcontractors have hired 300 local residents thus far.

     The EPA's Brownfields grant adds to recent funding provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health to train local workers in environmental remediation.  Two recent grants include:

     - The Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice received $1.2 million for
       its minority worker training program.  In Louisiana, environmental job training will be
       held at Southern University in Baton Rouge and the Deep South Center for Environmental
       Justice in New Orleans.

     - The Center to Protect Workers Rights received $5.5 million to train workers in seven cities
       nationwide - including New Orleans - in hazardous waste remediation, hazardous materials
       disaster preparedness and Brownfields redevelopment.

     The EPA's Brownfields Program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception in 1995, the program has awarded 709 assessment grants totaling over $190 million, 189 revolving loan fund grants worth more than $165 million, and $26.8 million for 150 cleanup grants.

     For more information, go to: