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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health at Atlantic Wood Ind. Hazardous Waste Site in Portsmouth, Va , Up to $5 million in Recovery Act funds added to cleanup

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (April 15, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced up to $5 million in new funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the Atlantic Wood Industries Superfund site in Portsmouth, Va. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste clean-up already underway. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating jobs in the Portsmouth area. This Recovery Act funding is part of the $600 million that Congress appropriated to the federal Superfund remedial program.

“EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Under the Recovery Act, we're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in.”

With the additional funds, EPA will accelerate work at the 48-acre site located seven miles from the Chesapeake Bay on the South Branch of the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth. The site is contaminated from chemicals used and disposed of by a former wood-treatment facility at the site.

"Not only will this funding give the struggling economy an important jumpstart with jobs, but it also provides EPA with important resources to continue the transformation of this once harmful Superfund site into a safe and protected property for the local community," said William C. Early, acting regional administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region. "The people of Portsmouth can one day look upon this site as a tremendous success story."

The federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hardest hit by the recession. Superfund cleanups are major construction projects which employ thousands of workers nationwide. The Superfund program is implementing new or expanded cleanup actions at 50 sites around the country and since it began, the program has completed construction of remedies at more than 1,060 of the 1,596 sites on its National Priorities List.

By starting or speeding up cleanup at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed with which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant economic benefits to local communities including future job creation.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009 and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at

For more details on the Atlantic Wood Industries site, visit: . For more information on the Superfund program, please visit: .