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EPA Regional Administrator Awards Grants to Benefit Virgin Islands Environment

Release Date: 06/24/2004
Contact Information:
(#04095) New York, New York -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny today announced in St. Croix federal grants that will benefit the local community and help revitalize Virgin Islands brownfields. Ms. Kenny said that $417,000 in grant funds for the Virgin Islands government is available to develop a brownfields and voluntary cleanup program. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized sites that may have levels of contamination that impede redevelopment. She also announced that the Virgin Islands Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. (VIRC&DC) has been selected to receive a $60,000 grant. They will use the grant to keep the St. Croix community informed and develop and maintain a repository of environmental information.

"The two grants will benefit local communities by promoting the revitalization of abandoned or underused properties and by enhancing the environmental information available to the citizens," said Regional Administrator Kenny. "These grants create opportunities for local organizations and government to develop local solutions to local problems, and keep the community involved in the process."

Through its brownfields program, EPA provides communities the tools they need to reclaim and restore thousands of brownfields sites that present relatively low risks to people's health. The brownfields program now allows states, territories and local governments and nonprofit organizations to apply for funding, greatly expanding the pool eligible for assistance.

With the most recent funding, EPA has provided over $500,000 to the Virgin Islands government to develop its brownfields program. Nationwide, the Agency has leveraged more than $5.8 billion in private investment, helped create more than 27,000 jobs and facilitated the assessment of more than 4,500 properties.

The VIRC&DC received the $60,000 grant to initiate the St. Croix Environmental Information Management and Outreach project. The organization was chosen from a group of educational or environmental public agencies, institutions, colleges, universities and not-for-profit organizations based on St. Croix.

Through its project, VIRC&DC will inform the community about the availability of environmental information. The organization will facilitate access to the information; serve as a liaison between the community and EPA; identify community concerns and relevant community organizations, agencies and key residents; maintain interest among community groups in outreach initiatives; and organize and implement planned EPA outreach activities and seminars.

For Further information on the St. Croix Environmental Initiative grant, please contact Jim Casey at
(340) 714-2333.