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Release Date: 09/13/2002
Contact Information: Dawn Harris, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8421
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Charleston, South Carolina is one of thirteen cities/communities that has been awarded a total of $750,000 in grants to provide environmental job training at brownfields sites. This is the second round of supplemental Brownfields job training pilot grants to be awarded (the first round was in May). 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.

In communities impacted by Brownfields, project officials will use the supplemental funding to continue their efforts to train residents in procedures for the handling and removal of hazardous substances. The goals of the pilots are to facilitate cleanup of Brownfields sites contaminated with hazardous substances and prepare trainees for future employment in the environmental field.

With its $75,000 supplemental Brownfields Job Training and Development grant, Charleston plans to conduct another round of training. To date, Charleston has trained 52 individuals and has a 87.5% job retention rate. Over $23,000 has been leveraged in funding. Charleston=s pilot was awarded a Community Partnership and Participation Award for its Outstanding Community Partnerships and Participation at the EPA Region 4 Brownfields 2001Workshop.

Since 1993, the EPA Brownfields program has provided more than $200 million in assessment, revolving loan fund cleanup and job training grants, resulting in more than $3.2 billion in public and private investments leveraged and more than 14,000 cleanup and redevelopment jobs generated.

Brownfields are abandoned, lightly contaminated properties often found in economically distressed areas, that are returned to economically thriving, community hubs. Since 1993, the EPA has taken significant steps to clean up brownfields and return them to productive use, awarding over $157 million in grants to cities, counties, tribes, states, non-profits and educational institutions nationwide. For more information go to: