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$200,000 in Recovery Act funding to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: EPA: Dan Heffernan 303 312-7074; Richard Mylott 303 312-6654; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe: 605-698-4998

Brownfields project will clean up Tekakwitha site in Roberts County

(Denver, Colo. – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of a $200,000 cleanup grant to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe to clean up contamination and revitalize the Tekakwitha Old Orphanage and Boarding School Complex on Highway 700 in Roberts County. The grant is being awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

“The cleanup of the Tekakwitha School Complex will pave the way for the reuse of a property that has been affected by a long history of contamination,” said Carol Rushin, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 8. “This cleanup will generate jobs and help create a community asset for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe.”

EPA selected the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe for a grant that will be used to clean up the Tekakwitha site, a former farm, church and school that is contaminated with metals, mercury, inorganic contaminants and petroleum. Cleanup is expected to generate several jobs. Once complete, the tribe plans to redevelop the site with ballparks, recreational areas and open space.

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