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Grants Awarded for Brownfields Projects in Ohio and Indiana

Chicago, IL - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $200,000 in grants to provide environmental job training at brownfields sites in Cincinnati, Ohio and Gary, Indiana.

Often found in economically distressed areas, brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties that can be returned to productive economic use.

With its grant, the city of Cincinnati aims to provide 75 community residents with skills to participate in ongoing brownfields assessment and cleanup projects. The training program includes units on health and safety, emergency response, innovative remediation technologies, and lead abatement. For more information, contact Juanita Howard, 513-357-2841.

The city of Gary, which has an unemployment rate of 14 percent, plans to train 160 residents living in designated empowerment and airport development zones with its grant. The city also has a first-source hiring ordinance that requires environmental contractors to hire local residents. The training program includes units on health and safety, construction trades, innovative remediation technologies, and lead and asbestos abatement. For more information, contact Mary Mulligan, 219-882-3000.

The grants, formally known as Job Training Demonstration Pilot Projects, are used to teach environmental-cleanup job skills to individuals living in low-income areas near brownfield sites over a two-year period. Many of the individuals who successfully complete the training program go on to pursue careers with environmental firms and organizations.

Ten grants, totaling $2 million, were awarded in nine states and Washington, DC, in late December. The Cincinnati and Gary grants were the only ones in EPA Region 5. Since 1993, EPA has awarded more than $200 million nationally under a variety of brownfields grant programs to cities, counties, tribes, states, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. Brownfields job training efforts, started in 1998, have been established in 23 states and Puerto Rico. For more brownfields information visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields.

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