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Contaminated site cleanup projects help revitalize communities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 24, 2012, it would provide $69.3 million in grants to help communities clean and redevelop properties that had been damaged by contamination. The Agency hopes the grants will boost job growth while helping to protect public health.

The grants will be given to 245 tribes and communities in 39 states, and are provided by the EPA's Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), and Cleanup (ARC) grants, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants.

"Restored Brownfield properties can serve as cornerstones for rebuilding struggling communities. These grants will be the first step in getting pollution out and putting jobs back into neighborhoods across the country," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Clean, healthy communities are places where people want to live, work, and start businesses. We're providing targeted resources to help local partners transform blighted, contaminated areas into centers of economic growth."

Health and safety officers working at contaminated sites must assess the area to determine what efforts are necessary to protect workers from contamination and redevelopment demolition, and what safety products should be used. Protect workers with hard hats, protective clothing, work gloves, respiratory protection, and other personal protective equipment during hazardous cleanup projects.