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EPA Announces $600,000 in Brownfields Tribal Assistance Grants

Release Date: 04/23/2007
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - April 23, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded two grants totaling $600,000 to help Native American tribes redevelop and return contaminated lands to productive use.

"We are pleased to help provide this important training and technical assistance to tribes," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "This assistance will help tribes revitalize their communities and address one of their top environmental priorities."

A grant of $300,000 is being awarded to the Midwest Assistance Program Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps rural and tribal communities improve their environment and become self-sustaining. Specifically, this grant will provide training and technical assistance to tribal communities in an effort to help them increase their ability to successfully establish and manage Tribal Response Programs focused on brownfields redevelopment. A second grant, also for $300,000, is being awarded to the federally-recognized Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma. In partnership with the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council, the Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs will provide educational outreach, training, and technical assistance to tribal governments in an effort to promote the assessment, cleanup, and remediation of meth labs in Indian Country.

State and Tribal governments share responsibility with EPA for implementing the national brownfields program. Brownfields are properties where the reuse or redevelopment of them may be complicated by the presence of contaminants. The grants will assist tribes in their efforts to identify and redevelop brownfields sites in Indian Country, including the less publicized brownfields issue of meth labs.

EPA encourages returning America's estimated 450,000 brownfields properties to productive community use. Since the beginning of the brownfields program in 1994, EPA's brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.3 billion in private investment, helped create more than 42,000 jobs, resulted in the assessment of more than 10,300 properties and the cleanup of more than 175 properties.

Information about EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields