EPA Finalizes Consent Order for Safe Defueling and Closure of Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Facility

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

HONOLULU – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized an Administrative Consent Order with the U.S. Department of the Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) that requires steps to ensure the safe defueling and closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

"Throughout the process, it has been an EPA priority to ensure communities affected by the releases at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam have had a seat at the table as we work together with the Department of Defense to develop solutions that best protect public health and our environment," said Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. "Today's Consent Order reflects that engagement, and I am confident it will help ensure safe defueling and closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and protection of the area’s drinking water."

The Consent Order also includes provisions to ensure that the Navy properly operates and maintains the Joint Base’s drinking water system to protect the health and safety of its consumers and the aquifer feeding the system. This is the latest step in EPA’s work to oversee the Navy and DOD’s response to the November 2021 fuel release at Red Hill and the process following the decision to close Red Hill.

"This Consent Order provides a critical tool for EPA oversight of the expeditious and safe defueling and closure of the Red Hill fuel storage facility and the drinking water system at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “The order reflects our agency’s commitment to ensuring that communities facing difficult and prolonged environmental challenges have an impactful voice at the table as EPA works to resolve them.”

Under the Consent Order requirements, the Navy and DLA are required to:

  • Receive EPA approval for defueling plan and supplements and follow the approved schedule for defueling within the plan.
  • Update the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan and receive approval from EPA on their Facility Response Plan prior to defueling.
  • Conduct tightness testing of each fuel storage tank at Red Hill to actively diagnose the potential for leaks and proactively correct any defects until closure is complete.
  • Conduct soil vapor testing for all fuel storage tanks at Red Hill to detect contaminated soils or groundwater.
  • Develop a defueling preparedness report certifying that all repairs to Red Hill have been completed and plans have been established in preparation for defueling.
  • Seek EPA approval on Phase 1 of the fuel facility closure, which includes cleaning and permanently closing the 20 underground storage tanks, pipelines, or surge tanks.

Phase 2 of the fuel facility closure will cover the remainder of closure activities, including remediation, and will be addressed under this 2023 Consent Order, the 2015 Red Hill Administrative Order on Consent or another EPA approved enforcement action.

​In addition to this Consent Order’s defueling requirements the Navy will, under the Order, take steps to safeguard drinking water quality and maintain the drinking water system at the Joint Base. Actions include:

  • Creating a source water protection plan to identify and implement protective measures for the Red Hill Shaft and all Joint Base drinking water system wells.
  • Extending the regular flushing mandate of the Joint Base drinking water system to continue to eliminate any contamination, while optimizing the flow rate at Red Hill Shaft to reduce wasted water being discharged to Halawa Stream.
  • Continuing sampling of residents, businesses, and schools to assure no residual contamination remains in the Joint Base drinking water system.
  • Planning for infrastructure and financial needs to assess and secure resources necessary to make all needed upgrades to the Joint Base drinking water system.

EPA issued a proposed Consent Order and sought public comments from December 20, 2022, through February 6, 2023. During that period, EPA hosted two in-person public meetings in Honolulu on January 18 and 19 to provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions, share concerns, and seek greater insight into the defueling and closure process. EPA reviewed and considered over 1,700 submitted comments before issuing the final order. As a result of public comment, EPA made the following revisions in the final Consent Order:

  • Requirements to meet the defueling deadlines and milestones in the Navy’s modified Defueling Plan.
  • Enhanced public involvement in decisions relating to defueling and closure of the Red Hill Tanks and impacts to drinking water.
    • This includes the formation of a Community Representation Initiative which will meet monthly with EPA, Navy, and DLA officials to receive updates and provide input into key decisions.
  • A commitment to seek additional input from local technical experts, including the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and United States Geological Survey.
  • An acknowledgement and commitment to incorporate the perspectives and insights of the cultural significance of the aquifer to Native Hawai‘ians and Hawai‘i residents into the decision-making process.
  • Additional reporting requirements for the Navy and DLA to notify the Community Representation Initiative of any spill that poses an emergency or immediate threat to human health and to require posting on Navy and DLA websites within twenty-four (24) hours.  

Following the November 2021 contamination of the Joint Base’s drinking water system, Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) issued an emergency order on December 6, 2021, to the Navy that required the Navy to cease all operations at Red Hill and defuel and close the 20 underground storage tanks, surge tanks, and associated piping at Red Hill. DOH issued a superseding order on May 6, 2022. The actions required by the EPA Consent Order support DOH’s emergency order and requires the Navy and DLA to minimize risks from the movement of fuel throughout the Red Hill facility during defueling and closure.

Read the Final 2023 Consent Order and Statement of Work on EPA’s website.

Read about EPA’s work at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawai‘i.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

EPA Reaches Settlement with Two Metro Detroit Companies to Halt Sales of Illegal Vehicle Emission Defeat Devices

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

CHICAGO (June 2, 2023) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Green Diesel Engineering LLC and CAV Engineering LLC of Commerce Township, Michigan, to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations from the sale of “defeat devices” designed to bypass or disable vehicle emissions control systems.

"Selling and installing defeat devices on vehicles and engines will not be tolerated," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. "Emission control systems on vehicles protect public health by reducing pollution, which is why EPA is committed to ensuring that companies comply with the Clean Air Act."

Green Diesel Engineering and CAV Engineering will pay a total civil penalty of $350,000 and have agreed to cease all tampering and manufacturing or sale of defeat devices. The settlement will help prevent excess emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

As a result of EPA's efforts to improve air quality and fuel efficiency, cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. To meet EPA's emission standards, engine manufacturers have carefully calibrated their engines and installed sophisticated emissions control systems.

EPA testing shows that defeat devices can substantially increase vehicle pollution which contributes to a variety of health problems. These include premature death in people with heart or lung disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, and decreased lung function. Since excess emissions can disproportionately affect residents living in communities near highways and freight facilities, EPA regards halting the manufacture, sale, offering for sale, and installation of defeat devices as key issues in working toward environmental justice.

More information on this enforcement action, part of EPA's National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines, can be found here.

EPA and Congresswoman Kathy Castor Highlight $1 Million in Brownfields Job Training Funds for Florida Organizations

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

TAMPA, Fla. (June 2, 2023) – Yesterday in Tampa, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman and Congresswoman Kathy Castor recognized two Florida-based organizations’ receipt of $1 million in Brownfields job training funds and highlighted the availability of approximately $12 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda for new environmental job training grants. EPA is currently seeking applications nation-wide for projects that will support environmental job training programs and develop the environmental workforce in underserved and overburdened communities.

President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. brownfields infrastructure ever through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests more than $1.5 billion over five years through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields Program. The Brownfields Jobs Training Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities.

“This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law more than tripled the funding available for Brownfields Job Training Grants annually,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “This unprecedented boost is providing critical opportunities for students to learn new skills and  support the communities in which they live and serve, including right here in Tampa and nearby Kissimmee, Florida.”

Under the FY 2023 Brownfields Job Training Competition, the Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa, Inc. and the Sustainable Workplace Alliance each received $500,000. CDC of Tampa plans to train 200 students and place at least 180 in environmental jobs in the Tampa area, while the Sustainable Workplace Alliance plans to train 120 students and place at least 76 in environmental jobs in the Kissimmee, Florida area.

“Thanks to the bipartisan Instructure Law, we are growing opportunities and careers across the Tampa Bay area and cleaning up neighborhoods and pollution at the same time,” said U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14). “The $500,000 EPA grant to the Corporation to Develop Communities, Inc. of Tampa will boost career training initiatives at a time local businesses need skilled workers for a wide variety of jobs. Environmental remediation and redevelopment in Tampa Bay is already opening the door to significant economic opportunities in communities disproportionately impacted by polluted sites and where new jobs and skills training are needed the most. This is exactly what Congress intended when we passed the Infrastructure law, and I am grateful to President Biden and the EPA for sending these investments to the Tampa Bay area.”

“Anytime we can train residents to solve community environmental issues and be part of the sustainability of their own communities, that is a good day.  We look forward to increasing our network of employee partners and expanding our partnership with EPA, USF and TVI to continue to help our neighborhoods to thrive,” said Ernest Corney, JR President/CEO at CDC of Tampa.

“The Brownfields Job Training program is an incredible opportunity to assist those in historically underserved communities. The Sustainable Workplace Alliance will focus on vulnerable worker populations in Kissimmee, Florida including unemployed, under-employed, veterans, and those with justice-involvement,” said David Casavant, Principal Investigator at Sustainable Workplace Alliance.

Under the Fiscal Year 2024 Brownfields Job Training Program EPA is now seeking applications for the program and anticipates awarding approximately 24 grants nationwide at amounts up to $500,000 per award. Applications are due by August 2, 2023, via grants.gov. The Request for Application (RFA) notice is now posted on www.grants.gov.


The EPA’s Brownfields Job Training (JT) grant program is a unique employment and training program. The grants allow nonprofit and other eligible organizations to recruit, train, and retain a local, skilled workforce by prioritizing unemployed and under-employed, including low-income individuals living in areas impacted by solid and hazardous waste in environmental jobs. Students learn the skills and credentials needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field, including brownfields assessment and cleanup. These jobs reduce environmental contamination and build more sustainable futures for communities. Communities have the flexibility to deliver eligible training that meets the local labor market demands of the environmental sector in their communities.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded 400 job training grants. With these grants, more than 20,600 individuals have completed training and over 15,300 individuals have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety.

Learn more on EPA’s Brownfields Program.

EPA, Oklahoma Officials Celebrate Agriculture Community’s Contributions to Public Health and Environmental Protection

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS – (June 2, 2022)  This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Earthea Nance joined officials from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) and Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) to tour several agricultural sites that contribute to the well-being of the state’s residents and environment. The tour included stops at urban farms that supply fresh food to environmental justice neighborhoods and a visit with Black and underserved farmers working to improve water quality. The group also visited the Greenwood Memorial in Tulsa.

“Oklahoma’s agricultural community, with guidance from OCC and OACD, have shown dedication and leadership in improving soil and water runoff management, leading to better water quality throughout the state,” said Regional Administrator Nance. “Their stewardship and commitment to conservation places Oklahoma as the nation’s leader in reducing polluted waterways.”

Largely due to the leadership of the OCC and OACD, Oklahoma can boast some of the most successful agriculture-based water pollution-reduction efforts in the country. OACD helps disadvantaged farmers build capacity to improve soil health and water quality through conservation and management practices. Runoff from agriculture sites can contribute to water pollution, therefore better soil and land-management practices lead to improved water quality. These efforts have made Oklahoma first in the nation for the number of water body segments removed from EPA’s list of impaired waterways polluted by nonpoint source runoff.

On Wednesday, RA Nance, OCC Executive Director Trey Lam and OACD Executive Director Sarah Blaney visited Resilient Growers in Skiatook and Better Day Farms in Tulsa, small urban farms that provide access to fresh produce for nearby neighborhoods with limited options for grocery shopping. Today, the group saw water-quality improvement in action with a visit to TJ Love’s farm, where Mr. Love showcased soil- and water-management efforts such as cross-fencing and pond cleanouts. The group also visited nearby Pryor Creek, a success story in water-quality improvement. Because of local farmers’ efforts to improve stewardship and conservation, water quality in Pryor Creek has improved to the point that it was removed from EPA’s list of polluted waterways in the state.

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Greenwich, Connecticut High School Student Wins EPA’s Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award at International Science and Engineering Fair for Research Project that Tackles Environmental Issues

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2023)  - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Naomi Park, an eleventh grader at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, as the winner of EPA’s 2023 Patrick H. Hurd Award at the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas. Naomi’s project, “Concurrent Removal of Rising, Soluble Ocean Carbon Dioxide and Oil-in-Water Contaminants via Multi-Functional Remediation Framework,” tackles three environmental issues: styrofoam waste, water quality, and soluble oil remediation.

"Congratulations to Naomi and to the over 1,600 finalists at the International Science and Engineering Fair,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development. “The creativity, innovation, intelligence, and drive that the students display is truly inspiring. I hope these students will keep using their STEM talents to tackle environmental issues and unlock scientific and engineering solutions that benefit all.”

Naomi recognized that current methods for oil spill remediation are typically chemical processes with adverse effects or mechanical solutions that primarily tackle oil on the waters’ surface. Naomi read about a class of nanoporous materials—hyper cross-linked polymers (HCPs)—that have the properties to bind with nonpolar pollutants like oil and carbon dioxide and can be synthesized using styrofoam. She sought to identify a process in which the properties of cross-linked polymers could be used to remediate soluble oil and carbon dioxide from oil spill events or in ocean acidification hotspots that have been the most negatively affected by an increase in CO2 emissions. After synthesizing the HCPs using styrofoam, Naomi constructed a multi-functional remediation framework that has a melamine foam base onto which her synthesized hyper cross-linked polymers were applied for pollutant capture and removal.

Honorable mention went to Abhinav (Abhi) Avvaru, an eleventh grader at Nashua High School South in Nashua, NH for his project, “An Economical and High-Precision Approach for Nitrate Detection and Filtration to Ensure Quality Drinking Water”. After learning about the prevalence of nitrates in drinking water and the cost for individuals to test their well water, Abhi sought to identify an affordable solution. He designed and constructed an inexpensive sensor that demonstrated high accuracy and a working model of a drinking water filter using Activated Carbon and treated with polyaniline and multi-walled carbon nanotubes.

Naomi and Abhi were finalists in at Regeneron ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college STEM research competition. Owned and produced by the Society for Science, Regeneron ISEF provides a platform for the best and brightest young scientists to showcase their science, technology, engineering, or math research.

Since 2009, EPA has participated in ISEF, recognizing projects that demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. The EPA Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award provides for the student to travel to attend and participate in the EPA’s National Sustainability Design Expo which is held in the following year. The Expo features the university and college student teams of our P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet program which also encourages innovative designs applying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to address an environmental challenge.

EPA releases proposed cleanup plan for Columbia Falls Aluminum Company Superfund site in Montana 

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 19:00

Columbia Falls, Mont. (June 2, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a proposed cleanup plan detailing its preferred cleanup option for the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company (CFAC) Superfund site in Flathead County, Montana.  

The proposed cleanup plan provides an overview of the site, the alternatives evaluated during a feasibility study completed for the site in 2021 and details of the preferred alternative. This announcement coincides with the start of a 60-day comment period from June 1-July 31 during which EPA will solicit public comments on the proposed plan.  

The CFAC site is located two miles northeast of Columbia Falls on the Flathead River and was once home to an aluminum reduction facility. The primary contaminants of concern are fluoride, cyanide and various metals. EPA’s proposed plan presents the actions needed to protect human health and the environment from contaminants present in landfills, surface water and groundwater at the site.  

A public meeting will be held on June 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Columbia Falls Town Hall, City Council Chambers, 130 6th Street West, Columbia Falls, to describe the proposed plan and solicit comments before a Record of Decision Amendment is released later this year. Other in-person outreach opportunities will also be provided during the comment period by EPA staff and technical advisors with the Technical Assistance Services for Communities program. These opportunities will include public meetings on June 21 and July 12 at the Columbia Falls Town Hall, City Council Chambers, at noon and 6:30 p.m. on both days. 

Both written and oral comments will be accepted at the public meeting on June 28. Written comments can also be sent by email to Missy Haniewicz at haniewicz.melissa.m@epa.gov or by standard mail to Missy Haniewicz, U.S. EPA, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202.  

EPA will review and consider all comments and will either move forward with the preferred alternative, modify it or select another alternative. Comments will be addressed in a Responsiveness Summary in the final Record of Decision for the site. 

The proposed plan, associated documents and information on how to submit comments can be found at the Columbia Falls Superfund site webpage.  

EPA seeks public comment on proposed cleanup plan for the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Co. Superfund site in LaSalle, Illinois

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

CHICAGO (June 1, 2023) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a 30-day public comment period on its proposal to amend the 2017 cleanup plan for the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Co. Superfund site in LaSalle, Illinois. EPA will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 14, to discuss the proposal and accept comments.

The Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Co. operated a zinc smelter at the industrial portion of the site from 1858 until 1961. In 2003, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List, the list of hazardous waste sites eligible for long-term remedial investigation and cleanup under the Superfund program. Since 2016, EPA has sampled soil at approximately 1,000 off-site residential properties near the facility and has cleaned up several hundred yards.

After on-site contaminated soil is contained and capped, EPA’s preferred cleanup plan proposes to collect groundwater samples to determine if contaminated groundwater levels are decreasing due to containment of the contaminated soil. This temporary plan allows the agency time to evaluate long-term solutions before proposing a final remedy for groundwater contamination. The proposed interim groundwater remedy also includes the implementation of:

  • institutional controls to prevent unacceptable exposures to contaminated groundwater
  • a groundwater management zone that mitigates impairment caused by the release of contaminants from a site to a region of groundwater.

EPA also proposes to update the 2017 cleanup decision document to correctly state that wastes in the industrial area are not primary hazardous wastes and therefore pose a lower level of risk. The Agency will also clearly outline state requirements to close and monitor the on-site landfills.

EPA’s public comment period on the proposed amendment to the cleanup plan is open from June 1 to June 30. Comments may be submitted via:

  • email to Ruth Muhtsun at muhtsun.ruth@epa.gov
  • EPA’s website
  • or attend the public meeting and make a comment

When:           Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Time:            6 p.m.

Where:          LaSalle-Peru High School Auditorium
                         541 Chartres St., La Salle

To learn more, visit the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc website.


EPA Fines Heritage Environmental Services LLC in KCMO for Alleged Hazardous Waste Violations

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JUNE 1, 2023) – Heritage Environmental Services LLC in Kansas City, Missouri, will pay $74,095 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company operates as a hazardous and solid waste storage facility and failed to comply with the terms of its hazardous waste permit, including:

  • Failure to operate in a manner that minimizes releases of hazardous wastes.
  • Failure to conduct daily inspections on hazardous waste tanks.
  • Failure to ensure that all open-ended valves or lines at the facility were equipped with closures.
  • Failure to obtain a hazardous waste permit for wastes not covered by the facility’s permit.

“Mismanagement of hazardous waste threatens human health and the environment,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA is committed to protecting communities from harmful chemical waste releases and leveling the playing field with companies that comply with the law.”

Upon notification to Heritage Environmental Services of the alleged violations, the company took immediate steps to return to compliance.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste.

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EPA begins sediment cleanup at Little Scioto River Superfund site in Marion Township, Ohio

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

CHICAGO (June 1, 2023) – This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will contact affected property owners as part of the first phase of cleaning up contaminated sediment in a 3.25-mile section of the Little Scioto River Superfund site in Marion Township, Ohio.

The section being cleaned up is north of Marion-Agosta Road and ends slightly south of Marion-Green Camp Road, in Marion Township, Ohio. EPA is contacting property owners to request access to their properties to survey the river and the surrounding area and conduct preliminary activities as necessary.

Preliminary activities will include clearing vegetation, creating access roads to the river, and preparing temporary staging areas to place excavated sediment that will be removed and disposed of in a permitted landfill. EPA will restore all disturbed areas to pre-excavation conditions. EPA anticipates the entire cleanup project should be finished in 2028. Cleanup activities will be done at no cost to property owners.

Main activities throughout the entire cleanup will include:

  • Placing temporary dams and bypassing water in segments of the river at approximately 0.5-mile intervals.
  • Excavating the top 2-4 feet of sediment from the river channel.
  • Staging contaminated sediment for drying and treating it with a cement-like material.
  • Transporting treated sediment to an offsite permitted landfill.
  • Replacing excavated sediment with clean sediment and restoring the river’s water flow.
  • Restoring riverbanks and the temporary staging areas for excavated sediment with natural vegetation.

Previous sampling performed in this section of the river detected sediment contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, or PAH, chemicals. PAHs are a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances. The Little Scioto River Superfund site is comprised of two separate operable units, or OUs. This portion of the river is part of the first operable unit, OU1, an 8.5-mile stretch of the river and four small nearby ditches. OU2 includes the former Baker Woods Creosoting facility, a lumber preserver from the 1890s until the 1960s. Historical information suggests that poor disposal practices at the Baker Woods facility contaminated groundwater, sediment, and soil in the area with arsenic and PAH chemicals.

For more information about the site, please visit the EPA website.


EPA Invites Public Input on Plan to Clean Up Contaminated Soil at CPS/Madison Superfund Site in Old Bridge, NJ

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its proposed cleanup plan to address contaminated soil at the CPS/Madison Superfund site in Old Bridge, New Jersey. A 30-day public comment period for the proposed plan begins June 1, 2023. EPA will host a public meeting at Old Bridge Senior Center, 1 Old Bridge Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ  08857 on June 15, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. to explain the new cleanup proposal.

“To protect people’s health, EPA’s proposed cleanup plan for the CPS/Madison site will address the soil contamination and restrict future use of the property. EPA invites the public to join our meeting to ask questions about the CPS/Madison site and share their thoughts on the proposed plan. Community input and participation is a key element to our work on Superfund sites,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia.

The cleanup outlined in today’s proposed plan will address the soil contamination at the Madison property portion of the site. Most of the property is covered by pavement that acts as a cap, preventing the contaminated soil from spreading. Under the proposed plan, the existing cap would remain in place, along with:

  • Inspecting and repairing the cap if any areas are damaged.
  • Removing contaminated soil in unpaved areas and transporting it to a licensed facility off-site for disposal.
  • Filing a deed notice with property records to avoid future residential use.
  • Monitoring sediment and surface water long-term to assess the effectiveness of the proposed cleanup in preventing the migration of contaminants from the soil to sediment and surface water.

The CPS/Madison site covers 35 acres and includes two adjacent facilities: the now-inactive CPS Chemical plant property and the still-operating Madison Industries/Old Bridge Chemical property. The Madison Industries facility produces chemicals for fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, and food additives, and the Old Bridge Chemicals facility, operated by a related company, produces zinc salts and copper sulfate. At the CPS facility, organic chemicals were used in the production of water treatment agents, lubricants, oil field chemicals, and anti-corrosive agents. The site operations led to the release of chemicals, polluting the soil, sediment and groundwater with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In 2019, EPA chose a plan to address contaminated site groundwater and soil at the CPS property. The engineering work needed to carry out that plan is underway.

Written comments on the EPA’s new proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to Brennan Woodall, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway – 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007, Email: woodall.brennan@epa.gov.

For additional background and to see the proposed cleanup plan, visit the CPS/Madison Industries Superfund site profile page.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.


Registration Open for National Brownfields Training Conference, August 8-11 in Detroit

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) today announced that registration is open for the National Brownfields Training Conference, which will be August 8-11 in Detroit.

This will be the 20th National Brownfields Conference. Previous conferences have attracted as many as 2,000 environmental and economic development officials, finance and insurance providers, planners, attorneys, and many others interested in community revitalization.

Addressing the nation's brownfields - abandoned or underutilized properties stigmatized by past commercial or industrial uses - is an ongoing challenge for communities of every size. EPA’s Brownfields program works collaboratively with federal, state, tribal, local and private partners to return these sites to productive use. These revitalization projects protect people from exposure to contaminants, improve property values and provide much needed redevelopment opportunities.

At the conference, the exhibit hall will include representatives from federal agencies, engineering firms, developers, environmental cleanup companies, legal and financial expertise, nonprofits, and other types of organizations.

To register or find more information on the conference, please visit the conference website.

For more information about the EPA Brownfields program, click here.  

EPA Finalizes Rule to Increase Transparency, Modernize Reporting under Toxic Substance Control Act

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2023) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule to update confidential business information (CBI) requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that increases transparency, modernizes the reporting and review procedures for CBI, and aligns with the 2016 amendments to TSCA. The final rule allows EPA to release non-confidential information more quickly, demonstrating EPA’s ongoing commitment to transparency and data integrity, and makes the process for submitting and substantiating CBI claims more efficient.

“Today’s rule is an important step forward as we work to improve transparency in our chemical safety program,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Putting a process in place to make more health and safety data publicly available more quickly helps give communities the information they need to make informed decisions about the chemicals they’re exposed to.”

The rule includes clarifying changes to ensure the regulations specify precisely where EPA has a statutory obligation to require substantiation and deny claims, which will result in more information being made available. The final rule also includes the following.

Measures to Increase Transparency

  • Changes to better assure that the existence and scope of a CBI claim is clear and limited to information the submitter views as confidential. The final rule also narrows the types of information in health and safety studies that can be claimed as CBI. For example, the name of the laboratory conducting the study cannot be claimed as CBI unless the name of the laboratory would reveal an association with a company whose connection to a chemical is considered CBI.
  • A provision to address inappropriate or over-broad CBI claims in public copies of TSCA submissions, especially health and safety related information, that specifies a process for the submitter to promptly correct those issues early in the CBI review and that EPA would promptly deny any remaining inappropriate claims. These changes are expected to remove ambiguity about the scope or validity of claims, permitting more rapid review of valid CBI claims and public access to non-CBI information. The final rule does not include EPA’s proposal to create a new “re-consideration process” in regulation for denied claims, which could have had the unintended result of more requests for reconsideration and associated delays in public access. Rather, EPA will rely on its existing process.
  • Expanded requirements for electronic reporting and uniform requirements to provide publicly releasable copies of certain documents like scientific studies, both of which would make more data available to the public more quickly.
  • Requirements for electronic communication and maintaining current and accurate contact information will assure more prompt delivery of required notices to submitters of CBI claims, thereby permitting EPA to make information for which CBI claims have been withdrawn, denied, or expired available to the public more quickly.
  • The final rule also clarifies language included in the proposed rule on how EPA will handle information used in the TSCA program but obtained under other statutes that also has valid CBI claims under those other statutes, in order to ensure consistency with the agency’s duty to make information publicly available when it’s legally able to do so. For example, data used under TSCA might have originally been submitted under and protected from disclosure under another statute, such as the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA), which prohibits disclosure of certain pesticide data to persons who are acting on behalf of a multinational competitor of the data submitter. The final rule would preserve the protections from disclosure that are required under FIFRA for international trade purposes, while maximizing the disclosure of information that cannot be claimed as confidential business information under TSCA. 

Measures to Modernize CBI Procedures and Ensure Consistency with Updated TSCA

  • Clear and uniform guidance on requirements for assertion and maintenance of CBI claims, including a standard set of substantiation questions used to support a CBI claim.
  • Requirements for electronic reporting of virtually all CBI claims, with enhancements to reporting tools that will prevent or mitigate common procedural errors EPA has observed to:
    • better assure procedural requirements for asserting a claim are met (with built-in certification and validation features for substantiation and generic names);
    • better and more narrowly articulate the confidential information that is being claimed; and
    • clarify CBI provisions that apply to individual data elements, such as where CBI claims are not permitted or where upfront CBI substantiation is not required to support a claim.
  • Establishment of a new section of the TSCA regulations to centralize and standardize how TSCA CBI claims must be asserted and substantiated.
  • Requirements that when health and safety information is submitted, submitters also use an appropriate Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development harmonized template (when available), a format that will allow data to be more readily used and shared within the Agency while allowing submitters to indicate CBI claims more clearly for EPA consideration.

In the coming weeks, EPA will host a public webinar targeted to companies that may include CBI claims in their TSCA submissions, but useful for anyone looking for an overview of the final rule. The date, time and registration information will be announced soon.

The rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Learn more and read a prepublication version of the final rule.

Poor Air Quality Expected for parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire on June 1, 2023

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (May 31, 2023) – New England state air quality forecasters are predicting air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups, due to elevated ground-level ozone, commonly referred to as "smog."  The areas that are predicted to exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone on Thursday, June 1 are: 

Connecticut (Greenwich, Stratford Westport, Middletown, Danbury, and Hartford),
Massachusetts (Eastern Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex counties)

New Hampshire (Seacoast)

These locations are subject to change, so please refer to EPA New England's AQI Air Quality Index for current air quality conditions and forecasts across New England.   

EPA and the medical community advise people to limit any strenuous outdoor activity when poor air quality is expected. Also, everyone can take steps to keep air emissions down during air quality alert days.  As climate change increases the probability of unseasonably warm weather, these kinds of air quality events are predicted to increase in frequency. Communities already vulnerable and overburdened will also be impacted by these kinds of events.

Ground-level ozone forms when volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen (ozone precursors) interact in the presence of strong sunshine. Cars, trucks, and buses emit most of the pollution that creates ozone. Emissions from gasoline stations, print shops, household products, like paints and some cleaners, as well as lawn and garden equipment also add to the ozone formation. 

Exposure to elevated ozone levels can cause breathing problems, aggravate asthma, and other pre-existing lung diseases, and make people more susceptible to respiratory infection. When ozone levels are elevated, people should refrain from strenuous outdoor activity, especially sensitive populations such as children and adults with respiratory problems.

When ozone is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, members of the public are encouraged to help limit emissions and reduce ozone formation by:

  • using public transportation, if possible;
  • combining errands and carpooling to reduce driving time and mileage; and
  • avoiding the use of small gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, power-washers, air compressors, and leaf blowers on unhealthy air days.

During poor air quality events, it is also important to reduce household energy usage, such as setting air conditioners to a higher temperature, turning off unnecessary lights, equipment, and appliances. EPA's ENERGY STAR Program also provides trusted guidance and online tools to help homeowners make smart decisions about improving the energy efficiency of their existing homes.

The current ozone standard is 0.070 parts per million (ppm).

More information:

Real-time Particulate Matter data and air quality forecasts New England Air Quality Index

National real-time air quality data (free iPhone and Android apps) and AirNow

Air Quality Alerts EnviroFlash

EPA's ENERGY STAR Program   

EPA Announces Stronger Standards to Improve Oil Spill Responses

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON   Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized stronger standards to improve response efforts to oil spills and hazardous substance releases into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines under the federal government’s National Contingency Plan (NCP). The new standards encourage the development of safer and more effective oil spill mitigating products like chemical and biological agents, provide emergency responders more information to better target the use of these agents, and require more transparency when these products are used.

“When hazardous substance releases or oil spills occur that can harm our environment, it is crucial that we ensure response efforts are guided by the safest, most effective, most protective practices,” said Clifford Villa, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “This rule will increase transparency and reporting requirements and support the emergency responders working to protect our communities.”

The rule amends Subpart J of the National Contingency Plan, which governs the listing and use of dispersants and other chemical and biological agents when responding to oil discharges into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. The final rule amends the Subpart J criteria for listing agent products on the NCP Product Schedule, updates the product testing protocols and revises the authorization of use provisions for listed agent products. On-Scene Coordinators may authorize the use of products listed on the NCP Product Schedule as part of an oil spill response.

The amended and new provisions in the final rule are intended to improve the safety and effectiveness of spill mitigating products, better tailor the use of these products to reduce risks, and ensure emergency responders have sufficient information to make better decisions about how and when to use chemical or biological agents.

Highlights of the rule include:  

  • Strengthening requirements for listing products on the NCP Product Schedule. These amendments ensure that only products that perform effectively in laboratory testing will be listed on the NCP Product Schedule for use in mitigating the effects of oil discharges. 
  • Requiring product manufacturers to provide more detailed product information, including health and safety information, to aid responders in evaluating whether to use specific products when responding to oil spills. 
  • Increasing access to information on product components. 
  • Establishing limitations and prohibitions on the use of certain agents. 
  • Establishing a publicly available Sorbent Product List that is separate from the NCP Product Schedule. 
  • Clarifying responsibilities and procedures for authorizing the use of these products. 
  • Notifying the public of when these chemical and biological agents are used in an emergency response.  


For more information on the final rule: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response/revisions-subpart-j-national-contingency-plan-product-listing-and-authorization  

In 1994, EPA revised the NCP in response to the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, addressing requirements under Subpart J for listing and authorizing the use chemical and biological agent products when responding to oil discharges into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines.

On July 27, 2021, EPA finalized monitoring requirements under Subpart J of the NCP for dispersant use in response to major oil discharges and certain other atypical dispersant use situations into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. 

EPA Regional Administrator Meg McCollister Launches EPA Region 7 Brownfields Investing in America Tour to Missouri and Iowa

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00
Regional Administrator Meg McCollister’s first stop on the EPA Region 7 Brownfields Investing in America Tour will be Hannibal, Missouri, on June 5. (U.S. EPA image)

LENEXA, KAN. (MAY 31, 2023) – On Monday, June 5, EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister will begin a four-day tour through Missouri and Iowa to celebrate recent Brownfields grant selections with the communities and coalitions that will benefit from this Investing in America funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

During the trip, McCollister will bestow ceremonial checks totaling nearly $6 million to five Brownfields grant selectees. These grants will go toward environmental assessment and cleanup activities in communities with blighted or contaminated properties.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law nationally, a total of $1.5 billion will go toward advancing environmental justice, spurring economic revitalization, and creating jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties.

Stay updated on McCollister’s journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  • EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister
  • Leaders from communities and coalitions selected for Brownfields funding
  • Additional stakeholders and leaders

WHAT: Four-day trip through Missouri and Iowa to present ceremonial checks to communities and coalitions selected for Brownfields grant funding.


  • Monday, June 5 – Hannibal, Missouri
  • Tuesday, June 6 – Keokuk, Iowa
  • Wednesday, June 7 – Clinton, Iowa
  • Thursday, June 8 – Waterloo, Iowa

NOTE: Media interested in attending ceremonial check events should RSVP to upcoming media advisories for each location.

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Canadian Wildfires Spark Air Quality Advisory for parts of New England on May 31, 2023

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (May 31, 2023) – New England state air quality forecasters are predicting elevated concentrations of fine particle air pollution due to wildfires in central and southern Nova Scotia. Areas predicted to reach the Moderate 24-hour particle pollution level concentrations on May 31 are:

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island

These locations are subject to change, so please refer to EPA New England's AQI Air Quality Index for current air quality conditions and forecasts across New England.

While there could be a few hours with higher levels of particle pollution, it is expected that the 24-hour average will not rise above the moderate range on the Air Quality Index. Hazy skies, reduced visibility, and the odor of burning wood is very likely as the smoke plumes are transported over the region. During the times that significant smoke is in your area, it is recommended that people with preexisting medical conditions remain indoors with windows closed while circulating indoor air with a fan or air conditioner.

Exposure to elevated fine particle pollution levels can affect both your lungs and heart which may cause breathing problems, aggravate asthma, and other pre-existing lung diseases. When particulate matter levels are elevated, people should refrain from strenuous outdoor activity, especially sensitive populations such as children and adults with respiratory problems.

Everyone can take steps to keep air emissions down during air quality advisory days. As climate change increases the probability of unseasonably warm weather, these kinds of air quality events are predicted to increase in frequency. Communities already vulnerable and overburdened will also be impacted by these kinds of events.

More information:

Real-time Particulate Matter data and air quality forecasts New England Air Quality Index

National real-time air quality data (free iPhone and Android apps) and AirNow

Air Quality Alerts EnviroFlash

Comments Sought on Proposed Interim Groundwater Cleanup Plan at New Hampshire Plating Company Superfund Site, Merrimack, N.H.

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (May 31, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Proposed Plan for an interim remedy for the cleanup of groundwater at the New Hampshire Plating Company Superfund Site located on Wright Avenue in Merrimack New Hampshire. EPA is accepting public comments on the Proposed Plan until June 30, 2023. EPA is also holding a virtual informational meeting and public hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, from 6:00pm - 7:15pm

EPA will hold a virtual informational meeting, immediately followed by a formal public hearing at which people can submit oral comments, which will be included in the official record. Both events will be held virtually so people can participate online or by telephone. Detailed Instructions are available at EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/superfund/nhplating. Written comments may also be submitted as detailed below.

EPA has considered several alternative methods to address groundwater contamination at the Site and is seeking public comments on its preferred interim remedy. After the public has had an opportunity to review and provide comment, EPA plans to formalize selection of the interim remedy in a "Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment (Interim Remedy)" expected in August 2023. This decision document will amend the groundwater remedy selected in the 1998 ROD modified by EPA in subsequent Explanations of Significant Differences (ESD), dated September 28, 2007, and September 25, 2020.

EPA's preferred alternative for the interim remedy in the Proposed Plan is designed to prevent future human health exposure to, and risk from, hazardous substances until a final remedy is selected for groundwater at the Site. The Proposed Plan includes:

  • In-situ (below ground) treatment and sequestration of groundwater contaminants;
  • Phytotechnologies (tree plantings) for the treatment and sequestration of groundwater contaminants;
  • Land use restrictions to prevent exposure to Site contaminants;
  • Monitoring of the contaminated groundwater plume to evaluate the performance of the interim remedy; and
  • Periodic reviews, at a minimum of every five years, to assess the protectiveness of the remedy.

The proposed interim remedy defers the selection of a final groundwater remedy for the Site pending further evaluation of data which will be assessed at least every five years. Information obtained from this interim remedy will allow EPA to better determine any final remedy for this contamination.

The estimated total present value of this proposed cleanup approach, including construction, operation and maintenance, and long-term monitoring is approximately $15.1 million.


The New Hampshire Plating Company (NHPC) Superfund Site is located in Merrimack, New Hampshire. The two NHPC parcels, with a combined total of 13 acres, are enclosed by an 8-foot-high chain-link security fence and are situated in an area with mixed land use, including light manufacturing, commercial businesses, and a few private residential dwellings. A public water supply is available to properties in the immediate vicinity of the Site. Soil and groundwater at the Site have been contaminated by historical (1962 to 1985) electroplating operations and waste disposal activities, most notably the discharge of treated and untreated wastes and wastewater from the former process areas into drainage channels within the concrete floors of the building, from which the waste materials gravity-drained through an underground discharge pipe into unlined waste lagoons. The presence of volatile organic compounds (including 1,4-dioxane), metals, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been identified throughout the Site at levels that present an unacceptable future risk to human health and the environment.

Given that public water is available in the immediate vicinity of the Site with no current users ingesting Site groundwater, there is no current human health risk via ingestion of groundwater. Additional remedial actions are required to address the potential human health risks associated with the future ingestion of contaminated groundwater and the potential inhalation of contaminated vapors in new or renovated structures constructed over the groundwater contaminant plume.

More information and Public Comment Opportunity:

Copies of the detailed Proposed Plan, as well as historical information about EPA's efforts at the New Hampshire Plating Company Superfund Site may be viewed on EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/superfund/nhplating or if local conditions allow, may also be reviewed at the Site information repository at the Merrimack Public Library, 470 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack, NH 03054.

EPA is accepting comments on the Proposed Plan. Comments must be submitted no later than June 30, 2023. Comments may also be submitted during the 30-day public comment period, which may be submitted via phone, mail, email, or fax to: Valerie Jurgens, Remedial Project Manager, US EPA New England, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, SNR07-1 Boston, MA 02109; jurgens.valerie@epa.gov. FAX: 617-918-0346. If you have questions, Ms. Jurgens can be reached at (617) 918-1346.

St. Louis Chemical Company Agrees to Pay Penalty for Failure to Report Toxic Chemical Releases

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (MAY 31, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will collect a $49,953 penalty from TransChemical Inc., which owns and operates a chemical distribution facility in St. Louis, Missouri, to resolve alleged violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). According to EPA, the company failed to submit required annual reports listing toxic chemicals at the facility.

“Communities, particularly those that are already overburdened by pollution, have a right to know about toxic chemicals in their area,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Failure to report such data also prevents governments and industry from using this important information in the development of regulations, guidelines, and air quality standards.”

As part of the settlement with EPA, the company also agreed to install controls around the facility designed to contain releases of chemicals to bordering neighborhood properties. EPA says that TransChemical will spend approximately $151,000 to complete the containment project.

EPA’s review of TransChemical Inc.’s records showed that the company manufactured, processed, or otherwise used quantities of toxic chemicals above thresholds that require the company to submit annual reports to EPA. Specifically, the company failed to timely submit reports for methanol, xylene, toluene, tert-butyl alcohol, n-hexane, n-butyl alcohol, methyl isobutyl ketone, and nonylphenol ethoxylates in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

TransChemical’s facility is located in an industrial area EPA identified as potentially having high pollution and socioeconomic burdens. EPA is strengthening enforcement in such communities to address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of industrial operations on vulnerable populations.

EPCRA requires facilities to report on the storage, use, and releases of toxic chemicals. The information submitted is compiled in the Toxics Release Inventory, which supports informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $500K Cleanup Grant for Polluted Brownfields Site in Rhode Island

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (May 31, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $500,000 from President Biden's Investing in America Agenda to expedite the cleanup of a brownfields site in Rhode Island while advancing environmental justice.

EPA selected one community in Rhode Island to receive one grant totaling $500,000 in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is the largest ever funding awarded in the history of the EPA's Brownfields MARC Grant programs.

This investment is part of President Biden's Investing in America Agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don't require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.

"We're working across the country to revitalize what were once dangerous and polluted sites in overburdened communities into more sustainable and environmentally just places that serve as community assets. Thanks to President Biden's historic investments in America, we're moving further and faster than ever before to clean up contaminated sites, spur economic redevelopment, and deliver relief that so many communities have been waiting for," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "This critical wave of investments is the largest in Brownfields history and will accelerate our work to protect the people and the planet by transforming what was once blight into might."

"Congratulations to the What Cheer Flower Farm for earning a $500,000 Brownfields cleanup grant this year," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this grant will be used to cleanup the site of an abandoned factory, which will help the flower farm expand operations and services in an underserved part of the City of Providence, providing flowers, greenspace and training to those who need it most."

"One of Rhode Island's original environmental justice programs, brownfields remediation and clean-up grants have a tremendous track record of success in transforming overburdened communities — these clean-ups create healthier communities, spur economic growth, and give neighborhoods new hope," said Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. "Rhode Island is grateful for the Biden Administration's EPA for the sizable clean-up grant to the What Cheer Flower Farm, which builds off state investments in this amazing project. Seeing condemned, hazardous buildings coming down and colorful flowers blooming in the spring could not be a more tangible sign that something good is happening in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence."

"The landscape in Olneyville is changing and improving. This federal brownfields funding will accelerate budding progress at What Cheer Flower Farm. The farm and its volunteers have breathed new life into the derelict Colonial Knife site in Olneyville and transformed it into a thriving, inviting flower farm and community asset," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. "Rhode Island has had a great deal of brownfields successes and partnerships. This is another great example of federal funding supporting community-driven revitalization In a way that helps deliver economic and environmental benefits."

"The EPA's Brownfields program continues to make important investments in communities across the Ocean State. With this federal funding for environmental remediation, What Cheer Flower Farm in Olneyville will grow its mission of delivering free flowers to Rhode Islanders in need of a smile, and help stimulate the local economy," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

"What Cheer Flower Farm brings so much joy to our community by growing flowers to give to hospitals, senior centers and more," said U.S. Congressman Seth Magaziner. "I am proud to announce this federal funding that will help What Cheer Flower Farm to continue cleaning up this land and growing its beautiful flowers in a safe environment."

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfields cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfields sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization, and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA's Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

EPA's Brownfields Program also advances President Biden's Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.

State Funding Breakdown:

Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant Program Selection

The following organization in Rhode Island has been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant Programs.

  • What Cheer Flower Farm, of Providence, R.I., has been selected to receive $500,000 for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The grant funds will be used to clean up the 2.7-acre site located at 63 Magnolia Street in the City of Providence's Olneyville, which is currently contaminated with metals, chlorinated volatile organic compounds, petroleum, and inorganic contaminants from previous manufacturing operations. The What Cheer Flower farm will also use their funds to support community outreach activities.

You can read more about this year's MARC selectees.

Brownfields Technical Assistance Provider for New England

EPA is also announcing funding selection for two Brownfields technical assistance opportunities. The Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) selectees provide specialized technical knowledge, research, and training to help stakeholders understand brownfields-related subject matter, and guide them through the brownfields assessment, clean-up, and revitalization process. This assistance is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. This technical assistance is available to all stakeholders and comes at no cost to communities. The two funding opportunities announced today include the following:

  1. EPA selected the University of Connecticut (UConn) to receive $5,000,000 to provide training and technical assistance to communities across the state under the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program. This funding comes entirely from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Read more about this year's TAB selectees.
  2. EPA is also expanding the scope of its technical assistance offerings under the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program to include three new subject-specific grants totaling $2 million in three areas, including providing technical assistance to nonprofits seeking to reuse brownfields; provide research, outreach, and guidance on minimizing displacement resulting from brownfields redevelopment; and providing outreach and guidance on land banking tactics for brownfields revitalization. Read more on the Brownfields Technical Assistance and Research cooperative agreement recipients.

More information about Brownfields Technical Assistance and Research.

Additional Background:

EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfields sites. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

EPA's Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfields Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA's investments in addressing brownfields sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged, from both public and private sources, nearly 260,000 jobs. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.

The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 8-11, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

EPA Funding to Provide New All-Electric Buses to Six School Districts NY State

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK - The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is transforming how children get to school, accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, and producing cleaner air for our communities. That is the message delivered today by EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia in Saratoga Springs.  In the last round of the Clean School Bus Rebate Program, EPA funded six projects through Leonard Bus Sales, Inc. totaling $6.625 million available to six school districts across New York State, allowing the purchase of 17 new electric school buses to take the streets. 

“Protecting our kids and tackling the climate crisis is a win-win. Transitioning away from dirty diesel and toward clean electric buses is a smart investment in our children's future,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "Cleaner air and less pollution are a net positive for the community, and thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law this is just the beginning. Beyond the community, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacement projects will help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector on climate change.”  

Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) said, “When we invest in clean, zero-emission transportation for our schools, we are prioritizing the health and well-being of our children and our communities. Funding from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program will enable these six school districts in New York State, and many others across the nation, to introduce state-of-the-art electric buses, reducing emissions and improving air quality for surrounding communities. I’m proud to celebrate this significant step towards a greener and healthier future for our students.”  
Doreen M. Harris, President & CEO, NYSERDA and Co-Chair, Climate Action Council said, “The EPA’s Clean School Program is a powerful example of the Biden Administration’s commitment to acting on climate, and these new, all-electric school buses coming to New York schools will improve the air that our children breathe while fostering cleaner, greener communities.  Together with the support on the federal level, New York’s significant investments in electrifying the transportation sector will provide school districts with a path to change over their school bus fleets and advance our shared goals of providing students across the state with cleaner and healthier transportation.”  

Jon Leonard, President of Leonard Bus Sales said, “Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the EPA Clean School Bus Program, Leonard Bus Sales was able to work with our school district partners to secure grant funding for seventeen all-electric IC Bus school buses for six school districts across the state -- including Chatham Central School District.  We’re proud of the public-private partnership we have with our school districts and look forward to supporting them as they transition to a zero-emissions future.”   

The six school districts who will benefit from this last round of Clean School Bus rebates are Adirondack Central School District (receiving 3 buses); Chatham Central School District (receiving 5 buses); Fabius-Pompey Central School District (receiving 5 buses); Monticello Central School District (receiving 1 bus), Naples Central School District (receiving 2 buses) and Norwood-Norfolk Central School District (receiving 1 bus).   
In April of this year, EPA announced a new Clean School Bus (CSB) grant program opportunity.  EPA is accepting applications for this new round of grant funding through August 2023. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under this 2023 CSB Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) competition. The $400 million grant opportunity through EPA’s Clean School Bus Program will fund electric, propane, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses that will produce either zero or low tailpipe emissions compared to their older diesel predecessors. 

EPA is prioritizing applications that will replace buses serving high-need school districts and low-income areas, Tribal school districts funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or those school districts receiving basic support payments under section 7703(b)(1) of title 20 for students living on Indian land, and rural school districts. In addition, EPA is committed to ensuring the Clean School Bus Program delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities. Large school districts with communities of concentrated poverty also will be prioritized if their proposal focuses on clean school buses serving those communities.  
This NOFO includes two sub-programs, one for school district and Tribal applicants (School District Sub-program) and one for third-party applicants (Third-Party Sub-program) to serve at least four school district beneficiaries. 

Eligible entities for the School-District Sub-program include: (1) State and local governmental entities (e.g., school districts), (2) public charter school districts, and (3) Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, or Tribally-controlled Schools. Applicants in the School District Sub-Program must request a minimum of 15 school buses and can request up to a maximum of 50 school buses. 

Eligible entities for the Third-Party Sub-program include: (1) Nonprofit school transportation associations and (2) Eligible contractors (including OEMs, dealers, school bus service providers, and Private bus fleets). Applicants in the Third-party Sub-Program must request a minimum of 25 school buses and may request up to a maximum of 100 school buses. Third-party Sub-program applicants are required to support at least four different school district beneficiaries.  If you are interested in applying for the 2023 CSB Grant NOFO competition, please go to: https://www.epa.gov/grants/2023-clean-school-bus-csb-grant-program 
About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program 

This 2023 CSB Grant Program is separate from the earlier 2022 Rebate Program, and interested applicants must apply to the Grant Program if interested in this funding opportunity. Grant applicants may submit proposals following the instructions specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) which is publicly posted at EPA's Clean School Bus Program webpage.  

This is a competitive program where applicants will be scored based on how well their proposal meets the criteria set forth within the NOFO. The Clean School Bus Grant Program will be open for approximately 120 days and close on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Questions about applying may be directed to CleanSchoolBus@epa.gov. 

This presentation aims to provide information related to the Clean School Bus Program. EPA does not endorse any specific companies or products by allowing external parties to present at Clean School Bus Program events. The presenters at this event are not intended to be a comprehensive list of companies or products related to the Clean School Bus Program. 

Mention of or referral to commercial products or services, and/or links to non-EPA sites does not imply official EPA endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data, or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. Mention of commercial products/services on non-EPA websites is provided solely as a pointer to information on topics related to environmental protection that may be useful to EPA staff and the public. 

If you would like to read more, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/web-policies-and-procedures/epa-disclaimers 
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