Forty-one isolated actinomycetes were used to study qualitative and semi-quantitative screening of chromium(VI) resistance. Chromate-removing activity was estimated using the Cr(VI) specific colorimetric reagent 1,5-diphenylcarbazide. Twenty percent of the isolates from El Cadillal (EC) and 14% of isolates from a copper filter plant (CFP) were able to grow at 13 mM of Cr(VI). All isolates from sugar cane (SCP) could grow up to Cr(VI) concentration of 17 mM. EC, CFP and SCP strains were able to remove 24%, 30% and more than 40% of Cr(VI), respectively. The highest and lowest Cr(VI) specific removal values were 75.5 mg g(-1) cell by M3 (CFP), and 1.5 mg g(-1) cell by C35 (EC) strains. Eleven Cr(VI) resistant strains were characterized and identified as species of the genera Streptomyces (10) and Amycolatopsis (1). Differences on actinomycete community composition between contaminated and non-contaminated soil were found. This study showed the potential capacity of actinomycetes as tools for Cr(VI) bioremediation.