- Associated Press - Thursday, May 29, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Honolulu $400,000 to assess pollution at former industrial and commercial properties along the city’s planned rail line.

The environmental assessments will help the city inventory contamination at the sites and prioritize cleanup plans. The grants will also help the city conduct community outreach and plan cleanups.

Honolulu is one of 171 communities nationwide that is receiving some brownfields grant funding.

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said Wednesday the funding allows communities to find new ways to retrofit formerly polluted, unused sites for sustainable new uses.

Construction is underway for the 20-mile rail line stretching from the western suburb of Kapolei to Ala Moana.

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