DISUR Gets $1 Million to Assessment Brownfields Contamination
EPA provides funds for project to impact Ponce Historic Zone, Former Petrochemical Properties in Peñuelas and Guayanilla.
(June 1, 2012 – Ponce, Puerto Rico) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Desarrollo Integral del Sur (DISUR) a grant for $ 1 million to create a Brownfields inventory and evaluate possible hazardous substances and petrochemical contamination in the municipalities of Ponce, Peñuelas and Guayanilla. Slated to begin in August 2012, the project will include Brownfields in the Historic Zone of Ponce and the former petrochemical complex in Peñuelas and Guayanilla.
"DISUR is the only organization in Puerto Rico that was selected to receive this grant, which represents the first phase of project implementation of PR#127 Guayanilla-Peñuelas (http://www.disur.org/es/noticias/pr127-informe-del-proyecto). The new project fosters economic development in these towns by creating jobs, as a result of the rehabilitation and redevelopment of disused lands and properties, taking into consideration the needs of its residents, "said María E. Meléndez, President of DISUR.
The EPA's Brownfields Program allows the state, communities and other stakeholders to work together in the prevention, assessment, cleanup and reuse of Brownfields. A brownfield is abandoned or underused land or property whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances or pollutants. In 2002 Congress created the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act to help states and communities across the United States and territories to the cleanup and revitalization such lands or properties. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to qualified applicants through several competitive grant programs.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA has invested in Brownfields and has leveraged over $ 18.3 billion in funds from public and private cleanup and redevelopment, which have resulted in the creation of 75.500 jobs. In 2012, EPA awarded $69.3 million to 245 grantees in 39 states and territories across the nation, for assessment and cleanup of abandoned commercial and industrial properties.
DISUR is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and maximize competitiveness and sustainable socioeconomic development of the southern region of Puerto Rico. DISUR also integrates the efforts and resources from the public, private and academic sectors, as well as the citizens who are residents of the southern area in order to achieve a better quality of life. The organization brings together the efforts of fifteen communities in south Puerto Rico: Adjuntas, Arroyo, Coamo, Guánica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Villalba, and Yauco. For more information visit www.disur.org, twitter.com/disurPR, facebook.com/disurPR or www.disur.org/es/noticias/pr127-informe-del-proyecto .
# # #