EPA screens soiled sites for renewables

Aug. 6, 2013 at 7:16 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- More than 60,000 acres of contaminated land is under review for possible development of renewable energy programs, a U.S. environmental regulator said.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it was screening 66,000 acres of contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites across the country under a reclamation program initiated in 2008.

President Obama has adopted a green energy policy during his second term in office. He said last month a low-carbon agenda could help stimulate the economy and provide a source of employment for U.S. workers.

"We see responsible renewable energy development on contaminated lands and landfills as a win-win-win for the nation, local communities, and the environment," Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for waste at the EPA, said in a statement Monday.

The EPA said more than 70 renewable energy projects have been installed on contaminated acreage since the program was conceived. Those projects are capable of generating 200 megawatts of energy.

The agency said it has already identified more than 10,000 sites that could support the installation of solar power facilities.

"By identifying the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites across the country, these screening results are a good step toward meeting national renewable energy goals in order to address climate change," Stanislaus said.

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