$200K brownfields grant for heart butte – krtv news in great falls, montana electricity invented what year

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a press release that it is providing the Blackfeet Tribe a $200,000 Brownfields grant to clean up and redevelop the Government Square site on the Blackfeet Reservation in Heart Butte, Montana.

The Tribe will use the EPA funds to clean up asbestos, mold and lead at the four-acre site that will lead to redevelopment opportunities for a tribal event and senior center, a new gas station and convenience store, as well as a community park.

The Blackfeet Tribe 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.”

“Brownfields grants help transform environmental hazards into community and economic assets,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “We look forward to helping the Tribe as they remove contaminants and create a new, vibrant future for this site.”

"The Blackfeet Tribe is grateful for the U.S. EPA Brownfields grant in their effort to assist the Heart Butte community," said Blackfeet Chairman Harry Barnes. "This funding will be used to provide clean-up of the Government Square in Heart Butte. As a recipient of 145 grants across the U.S., we will utilize it to its full potential."

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 EPA 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, under certain conditions, 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.