State Environmental Agencies

To implement federal and state legislation and regulations, states have established their own departments of natural resources or environmental protection agencies. State environmental agencies operate slightly differently from national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters or regional offices. Their mission first and foremost is to regulate and enforce state-adopted statutes. As a result, a large part of state agency resources are utilized for monitoring, permitting, inspection, and enforcement.

State agencies have responded to the expansion of Brownfields by investing resources and staff in the Brownfields Initiative. Most have their own state Brownfields programs, which complement and supplement federal Brownfields activities. In some cases, areas identified as state Brownfields sites are not receiving federal assistance. As such, state Brownfields sites may not appear on lists of EPA active sites. State and local cleanups not supported directly by EPA are another market for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) graduates.

State environmental agencies can provide local technical assistance not available from EPA regional offices. They also serve as excellent resources for training assistance. Some provide direct training assistance, and others maintain lists of approved or available service providers. State project officers working on Brownfields assessment and cleanup are often familiar with contractors and consultants that may become resources or potential partners for EWDJT programs.

EPA’s Health and Environmental Agencies of the U.S. States and Territories website includes agencies by state. Searching websites is an excellent source of background information, but as stated earlier, personal contact remains essential as program planning develops.

Other state agencies including departments of commerce, economic development, labor, and occupational safety and health may provide pass-through grants and technical assistance from federal agencies such as those just discussed.