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$2.6 million for contaminated land cleanup, economic development in Montana

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Dan Heffernan 303 312-7074; Richard Mylott 303 312-6654

Bozeman, Kalispell and Lewistown among communities across 17 counties receiving Brownfields grants

(Denver, Colo. – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $2.6 million in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities in Montana clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The grants, which include $400,000 from the Recovery Act and $2.2 million from the EPA Brownfields general program funding, help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“Today's announcement will spur environmental and economic investments on 'Main Streets' across Montana," said Carol Rushin, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 8. "These grants will help communities reclaim former industrial properties, encourage downtown revitalization, and reduce development pressure on open space and greenfields."

Applicants selected to receive Recovery Act funds are:

Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana
Grant Award: $400,000 community-wide assessment grants (petroleum and hazardous substances)

EPA has selected the Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana for two brownfields grants that will help Montana communities inventory sites and conduct as many as 24 site assessments for hazardous substances and petroleum contamination. Located in north-central Montana, Bear Paw Development serves Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, Phillips and Liberty Counties, including the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. State and Tribal agencies report numerous abandoned mines, agricultural operations, methamphetamine laboratories and leaking underground storage tanks in the Bear Paw area. Contact: Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, 406-265-9226.

Applicants selected to receive Brownfields general program funds are:

City of Kalispell
Grant Award: $400,000 Community wide assessment grants (petroleum and hazardous substances)

EPA has selected the City of Kalispell for two brownfields assessment grants that will be used to assess sites for hazardous substances and petroleum contamination in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Revitalization Project area. Many of the industrial properties along the rail lines now lay vacant or underused. Forty-seven underused properties have been identified in the target area, including gas stations, warehouses and grain elevators. There are several residential properties in the BNSF area, raising concerns about potential exposure to contaminants. Contact: City of Kalispell, 406-758-7740.

City of Lewistown
Grant Award: $200,000 Cleanup Grant

EPA has selected the City of Lewistown for a brownfields grant that will be used to clean up the Berg Lumber Mill site on Joyland Road. The currently vacant site was used as a lumber yard, saw mill and a post and pole treating facility from the 1970s to 1990s. Site soil contamination includes pentachlorophenol and dioxin, which may leach into groundwater or runoff into nearby Big Spring Creek. Grant funds will be used to excavate and dispose of contaminated soil, install liners and conduct sampling. Cleanup is expected to allow the City to use portions of the property for redevelopment, including public access to Big Spring Creek.
Contact: City of Lewistown, 406-535-1775.

Northern Rocky Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc
Grant Award: $1.6 million Revolving Loan Fund (petroleum and hazardous substances)

EPA has selected the Northern Rocky Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc., for a brownfields grant that will capitalize a revolving loan fund to support environmental cleanup activities in the 11 counties represented by the Central Montana Brownfields Coalition. These include Gallatin, Park, Fergus, Judith Basin, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Petroleum, Wheatland, Broadwater, Lewis and Clark and Meagher Counties. This area contains hundreds of abandoned mines, underground storage tanks and other potential brownfields that present threats to groundwater and surface water quality. Contact: Northern Rocky Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Area, 406-582-5700.

EPA brownfields grants help assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfields program encourages development of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at: http://www.Recovery.gov.

More information on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm

For more information about EPA brownfields efforts in Region 8, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/land_waste/bfhome/bfhome.html