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Montana communities receive $1.4M to clean up and redevelop contaminated sites

Release Date: 06/11/2014
Contact Information: Richard Mylott, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6654; Danny Heffernan, U.S. EPA, 303-312-7074; Bear Paw Development Corporation, Brittnee Zanto-DeLaRosa, 406-265-9226; Big Sky Economic Development Authority, Dianne Lehm, 406-869-8409; Great Northern Development Corporation, Michelle Isle, 406-653-2590

EPA Brownfields grants to advance revitalization, leverage economic opportunities in dozens of Montana communities

(Denver, Colo. – May 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that three Montana economic development organizations will receive $1.4 M in EPA Brownfields grants to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties in communities throughout the state.

The grantees awarded today include the Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, the Big Sky Development Authority, and the Great Northern Development Corporation.

Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana: $400,000

The Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana will use EPA Brownfields funds for environmental assessments and sampling plans at least 30 properties in Hill, Chouteau, Blaine, Liberty, and Phillips Counties, as well as the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, all in north central Montana.
Projects will focus on small, rural communities and will be used to prioritize, assess and clean up various types of properties, including former gas stations and automotive shops, railroad operations, airport facilities, and abandoned buildings with potential asbestos contamination. Redevelopment plans associated with these properties include community parks, housing development, industrial space, and service and retail businesses.

Big Sky Development Authority—Billings: $400,000

The Big Sky Development Authority will use EPA Brownfields funds to conduct environmental site assessments at more than 25 blighted and contaminated properties in the City of Billings with a focus on revitalization in the East Billings Urban Renewal District. The Authority will work closely with the City of Billings and other partners to prioritize sites, identify redevelopment opportunities, and leverage investments that will revitalize the targeted area.

Great Northern Development Corporation—Eastern Montana: $600,000

The Great Northern Development Corporation will use EPA Brownfields funds to conduct environmental assessments at least 27 properties in Montana’s 15 eastern counties. Coalition partners include the Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation and the Southeast Montana Development Corporation. Projects will focus on small, rural communities and will be used to prioritize, assess and clean up various types of properties, including former gas stations and automotive facilities, lumber mills and wood treatment facilities, and meth labs.

Today’s grants to Montana’s communities are among 264 awards to communities nationwide totaling $67 million in brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. The 2014 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

“EPA Brownfields funds will help dozens of Montana communities, from Billings to Wolf Point to the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, get blighted and contaminated properties back into productive use," said Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “These projects will create new community assets and leverage investments that create jobs and opportunities.”

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

More information on EPA’s brownfields: