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Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe receives $200K to clean up Old Swiftbird Day School site

Release Date: 06/11/2014
Contact Information: Danny Heffernan, U.S. EPA, 303-312-7074; Richard Mylott, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6654; Robert Smith, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, 605-964-6558

EPA Brownfields grant to address lead, asbestos, and PCBs

(Denver, Colo. – May 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will receive a $200K EPA Brownfields grant to clean up and redevelop the Old Swiftbird Day School site located north of Highway 212 and west of Junction BIA-7 in the Swiftbird Community of the Cheyenne River Reservation.

The Old Swiftbird Day School site was used as a primary school from 1960 until 1997 and as storage facility and a gift shop from 1997 until 2008. The property has been boarded up and abandoned since 2008. The site is contaminated with organic and inorganic materials, including lead, asbestos, and PCBs. The site is in a prime location and is considered a priority for redevelopment, which includes a pending plan to build a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for eagles and other raptors.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is among 171 communities nationwide receiving 264 grants 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 continue to help tribal communities put blighted sites 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:

More information on EPA’s brownfields: