News Releases from Region 08
Great Northern Development Corporation receives $600K for redevelopment projects in eastern Montana
Partnership with the Eastern Montana Brownfields Coalition to advance environmental assessment and property redevelopment in fifteen county-area, including Fort Peck and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations
DENVER -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the Great Northern Development Corporation a $600,000 Brownfields grant to further efforts to assess, clean up and revitalize properties in communities throughout eastern Montana.
Great Northern Development Corporation is among 144 grant recipients across the nation receiving EPA Brownfields Environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“These grants will secure much needed environmental assessments at dozens of properties that have been targeted for redevelopment in eastern Montana,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “EPA will continue to support local partnerships that are making investments in the vitality of rural communities.”
The Great Northern Development Corporation will use the EPA grant funds to target brownfields located in and around numerous small towns across fifteen eastern counties of Montana, including Carter, Custer, Dawson, Daniels, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Powder River, Prairie, Sheridan, Treasure, Valley, Wibaux Counties, and the Fort Peck and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. Businesses that once supported agriculture and resource development make up the largest proportion of brownfields in the target area, including pesticide facilities, car dealerships, bulk petroleum fuel storage facilities, gas stations, lumber mills and wood treatment facilities. They also include abandoned buildings which contain asbestos, lead-based paint, and meth labs.
"Great Northern Development, along with our coalition partners; Southeastern Montana Development and Eastern Plains Economic Development are certainly appreciative of this award and plan to put the funds to good use ASAP," said Tori Matejovsky, Executive Director of Great Northern Development. "We all feel these assessment funds are a critical tool in our toolbox. The EPA dollars will go a long way in helping us convert idle properties into productive community assets once again."
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two-to-seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.
Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 applicants selected for funding:
For more information on Brownfields grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
For more information on how brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories