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EPA awards four Brownfields grants to Hawai'i

Release Date: 10/22/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

$993,221 in total funding for Hawai'i projects

HONOLULU -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded four organizations in Hawai'i nearly $1 million to address contaminated 'brownfields' properties on Oahu and Kauai.

The EPA awarded a total of $796,334 in grant funding for the redevelopment of brownfields properties and $196,877 in a brownfields job training grant to train students in environmental health and safety to prepare them for work in the environmental field.

"The Brownfields site evaluation grant will allow Hawai'i communities to continue their momentum in revitalizing properties that have been sitting idle due to real or even perceived contamination," said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA's Pacific Southwest office. "Students will benefit from the Brownfields job training grant as it will provide quality training to individuals who will make up the environmental work force of the future,"

The Hawai'i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism received $400,000; the County of Kauai received $200,000; and $196,344 went to the Anahola Homesteaders Council to:

-inventory potential brownfields sites;
-perform environmental site assessments; and
-do community outreach and involvement activities.

The Honolulu Community College received $196,877 from the EPA's Brownfields Job Training Grant Program to train 60 students, achieve a 75 percent placement rate, and track students for one year. The 240-hour training program will include hazardous materials handling, environmental health and safety, and risks posed by hazardous waste sites. Course work will be followed by 120 hours of on-the-job training supervised by potential employers. Finally, the students will be placed in environmental jobs through the school's partnerships with environmental, construction, and other industries.

The Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, the EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling over $150 million, 171 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million.

The Brownfields job training grants include 66 projects totaling $13.6 million that 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.