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Spirit Lake Tribe receives four EPA cleanup grants totaling $800,000

Release Date: 5/10/2005
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      Denver -- Revitalization efforts on the Spirit Lake Tribe Indian Reservation in east-central North Dakota were given a big boost today as EPA awarded the tribe $800,000 in Brownfields cleanup grants.
The Spirit Lake Tribe Indian Reservation is among communities in 44 states that will share more than $75 million in EPA Brownfields grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from eyesores into community assets.

The $800,000 in EPA cleanup grant funds will be used by the Spirit Lake Tribe to support community involvement activities, develop cleanup plans, and assess, remediate and dispose of asbestos and lead-based paint contamination at approximately 20 relocatable homes currently staged at 7591 35th Street in the Rolling Hills area; the Old Fort Totten Hospital at 111 Second Avenue; the Old Fort Totten Community Center; and the Saint Michaels Mission School.

Buildings that housed basic community services such as the old hospital, community center, school and tribal administration building are plagued with environmental problems, including asbestos, lead-based paint and mold. Tribal resources for addressing issues such as the potential health and safety hazards of brownfields are limited. Cleanup of the reservation’s brownfields sites will allow the tribe to productively reuse existing buildings and not divert limited resources for new construction.
    "These grants give local partnerships the ability to address environmental issues at sites that are being transformed into vital assets," said EPA Assistant Regional Administrator Max Dodson. "In addition to improving the environment, they are investments in the future that help communities achieve important economic redevelopment and social goals."
    Brownfields are sites where potentially harmful contaminants may be impeding revitalization. EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception in 1995, the program has awarded 709 assessment grants totaling over $190 million, 189 revolving loan fund grants for cleanup worth more than $165 million, and $26.8 million for 150 direct cleanup grants.

    In addition to grants being announced today, participants in the Brownfields program gain access to the expertise and resources from more than 20 federal agencies. Nationwide, there are four categories of grants being awarded with 218 applicants, including three tribal nations, selected to receive 302 grants totaling $75.9 million. These include:
    • 172 assessment grants, worth $33.6 million, to assess and plan for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfield sites;
    • 106 cleanup grants, totaling $19.3 million, for recipients to clean up brownfield sites they own;
    • 13 revolving loan fund grants, totaling $20.8 million, for communities to use to make low-interest loans for the cleanup of brownfield sites, and
    • 11 job-training grants, valued at $2.2 million, for environmental training of people who live in brownfield communities.

    Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas station sites to housing. EPA's Brownfields assistance has led to more than $7 billion in public and private investment in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 31,000 jobs, and resulted in the assessment of more than 5,100 properties.

    For detailed fact sheets on the individual grant recipients, visit:
    For more information on the Brownfields program:
    EPA is cosponsoring a National Brownfields Conference in Denver in November of 2005. For more information: