(Denver, Colo. – May 24, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa will receive a $200,000 Brownfields grant to clean up an abandoned Tribal Administration Building on Highway 5 West near Belcourt, North Dakota. The award is part of $69.3 million in EPA Brownfields grants provided to 245 communities across the nation to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, protect public health and create jobs.
The 30,000 square-foot administration building was constructed in 1989 and was recently abandoned because of repeated flooding. The building is contaminated with mold, unknown chemicals and electronic waste products. EPA’s grant will facilitate the cleanup and renovation of the building to provide the tribe with usable office space.
"Restored Brownfield properties can serve as cornerstones for rebuilding struggling communities. These grants will be the first step in getting pollution out and putting jobs back into neighborhoods across the country,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Clean, healthy communities are places where people want to live, work and start businesses. We're providing targeted resources to help local partners transform blighted, contaminated areas into centers of economic growth."
The 245 grantees include tribes and communities in 39 states across the country, funded by EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants. The grants awarded will assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Nearly half of the grantees this year are new awardees who demonstrate a high level of commitment for undertaking specific projects and leveraging the funding to move those projects forward.
Approximately 29 percent of the grants are being awarded to non-urban areas with populations of 100,000 or less, 16 percent are being awarded to “micro” communities with populations of 10,000 or less, and the remaining grants are being awarded to urban areas with populations exceeding 100,000.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
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