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EPA invests $4.3M to boost the revitalization of properties in Montana communities

Release Date: 06/06/2011
Contact Information: Dan Heffernan, (303) 312-7074; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

Brownfields funds to help assess, clean up and revitalize properties throughout Montana

(Denver, Colorado – June 6, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $4.35 million in Brownfields grants to five organizations throughout Montana. These resources will be used by communities and nonprofit organizations to advance locally defined plans for property assessment, cleanup and redevelopment projects. Today’s awards in Montana are among 214 Brownfields grants totaling $76M that EPA is providing in 40 states and three tribes across the country.

“These resources will support dozens of assessment and cleanup projects in communities across Montana,” said Dan Heffernan, EPA’s Brownfields coordinator in Denver. “These projects are investments that will create hundreds of jobs and help communities transform blighted properties into assets ranging from new housing and business opportunities to parks and trails.”

The City of Kalispell, Mont., will receive a Brownfields revolving loan fund grant in the amount of $1 million. The grant will be used to capitalize a loan fund from which the City of Kalispell will provide resources to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. The city anticipates funding up to five projects to advance a revitalization plan that includes redevelopment along abandoned railroad tracks, a park and trail system, affordable housing, and new businesses.
Contact: 406-758-7713

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation, with offices in Pablo, Mont., will receive a Brownfields cleanup grant in the amount of $200,000 to clean up 2,500 cubic yards of petroleum-contaminated soil at the nine-acre Joseph Allotment, along US Highway 93 in Elmo, Mont. The site was contaminated when petroleum was released from the former Elmo Cash Store, located adjacent to the Joseph Allotment. Cleanup of this site will reduce threats of exposure to petroleum and will allow the Tribe to construct much needed housing and support jobs and economic development in the community. Contact: 406-883-2888

Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, with offices in Havre, Mont., will receive Brownfields grants totaling $1.4 million. Bear Paw will use a $400,000 assessment grant to fund site assessments and cleanup plans for properties in Hill, Chouteau, Blaine, Liberty, and Phillips Counties, along with the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. An additional Brownfields revolving loan fund grant totaling $1 million will be used to address sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Contact: 406-265-9226

Northern Rocky Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc., with offices in Bozeman, Mont., will receive a Brownfields assessment coalition grant in the amount of $1 million. The coalition partners include the Snowy Mountain Development Corporation and the Montana Business Assistance Connection, whose combined area covers 10 counties in central Montana. Grant funds will be used to perform more than 40 environmental site assessments and develop site cleanup plans. One such site is an abandoned landfill in Three Forks, Mont., which sits near the headwaters of the Missouri River and will be assessed for redevelopment as a community park. Contact: 406-582-5700

Great Northern Development Corporation, with offices in Wolf Point, Mont., will receive a Brownfields assessment coalition grant in the amount of $750,000. The coalition partners include the Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, Inc., the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation, the Fort Peck Tribal Office of Environmental Protection, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. The combined project area covers 15 counties in eastern Montana. EPA grant funds will be used to perform more than 20 environmental site assessments and develop site cleanup plans. This region contains hundreds of abandoned properties, with many sites impacted by leaking underground storage tanks. Grants will allow sites to be redeveloped for future use, such as the abandoned GTA Feed Plant in Glendive, Mont., which community groups hope to transform into a farmers market, restaurant, and micro- brewery. Contact: 406-653-2590

EPA’s brownfields grants are used to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties like deserted gas stations or closed smelters. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. These investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation.

Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in clean up and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 70,000 jobs. Brownfields grants also target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

More information on the FY2011 grant recipients by state: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/pilot_grants.htm

More information on EPA’s brownfields program:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

More information on brownfields success stories:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm