More Federal Brownfields Cleanup Funds Coming Long Beach's Way

millers-child-hospital.jpg
EPA.gov
Miller's Childrens Hospital in Long Beach previously received federal brownfields cleanup funds.
A proposed Long Beach job training resource has been awarded a chunk of nearly $2 billion in federal grant money aimed at cleaning up contaminated sites in California known as "brownfields," the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The EPA's Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Funds for the awards announced Wednesday come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by President Obama on Feb. 17.

The City of Long Beach/Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network is to receive $452,212 to help pay for the proposed Long Beach Bioneers Academy. The city plans to train 100 participants, graduate 70 students, and place 53 graduates in environmental jobs through the academy.

This the not the first time the EPA has sent funds to Long Beach for a brownfields project. The agency previously awarded $600,000 to Miller's Childrens Hospital, making it the first childrens hospital in the nation to receive a federal brownfields cleanup grant. The funds are helping the hospital to complete a $151 million expansion project onto formerly contaminated land. 

The full EPA release follows . . .
Los Angeles Conservation Corps, City of Long Beach, City of Richmond and Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. Awarded Recovery Act Funds to Train Workers to Clean Contaminated Sites

(SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2009) EPA has selected the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, the City of Long Beach's Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, City of Richmond and Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. to receive a total of $1,952,212 in grant funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide job training to assess and clean up contaminated sites known as "brownfields." Trained workers will be able to turn blighted properties into revitalized, productive areas. These funds are part of more than $6.8 million provided by the Recovery Act to provide brownfields job training across the nation.
 
"Through this Recovery Act funding, EPA and our community partners will provide training and environmental career opportunities to California residents," said Laura Yoshii, EPA's acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "These grants will help ensure that a trained work force is ready to clean up contaminated sites and revitalize them for productive reuse in our communities."

The Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) will receive $500,000. The Corps plans to train 100 participants and place 80 graduates in environmental jobs. The training program will consist of four 10-week cycles of 400 hours per cycle. Courses will include hazardous waste operation, asbestos and lead abatement, weatherization, solar panel installation and
energy audit certifications.

The City of Long Beach, Calif. (Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network) will receive $452,212. Through the proposed Long Beach Bioneers Academy, the City plans to train 100 participants, graduate 70 students, and place 53 graduates in environmental jobs. Courses will include OSHA 30-hour health and safety certification, hazardous waste operation certification,
and asbestos, lead, and mold abatement certification. Employment specialists and business service team members in the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network will connect with the business community and an extensive network of environmental employers to place graduates with appropriate employers.

The City of Richmond, Calif., will receive $500,000. The city plans to train 128 students and place 102 graduates in environmental jobs. The training program will include a variety of environmental, green technology, and construction skills. Graduates will receive six certifications, including hazardous waste operation, lead, asbestos, and mold abatement; and
solar technology and installation. There are more than 321 acres of brownfield sites within Richmond--the city's job training program will help prepare workers to assist with the revitalization of these areas.

The Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. (CMTC) of Oakland, Calif., will receive $500,000.  The Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc plans to train 180 students and place 144 graduates in Brownfields and green construction-related jobs in West Oakland. Students will receive certifications in hazardous waste operation, lead remediation, asbestos removal, confined space, and mold remediation. CMTC will work with community organizations such as the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council, the Associated General Contractors and Minority Contractors Associations, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' Health and Safety Fund Office, and business organizations to help graduates find environmental technician jobs.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. EPA established the Brownfields Job Training Program to help residents take advantage of jobs created by the assessment, as well as to spur cleanup and sustainable reuse of brownfields sites and to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Brownfields Law) was passed. The Brownfields Law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield,
so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. EPA's Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that 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 Recovery.gov.

Information on ARRA brownfields job training grants and other EPA Brownfields activities under the Recovery Act is here.
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