EPA awards $1 million for cleanup and redevelopment projects in the communities of Havre, Browning and rural Montana

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(AGENPARL) – 20 lun maggio 2024 Released: May 20, 2024 (12:53 PM EDT)
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EPA awards $1 million for cleanup and redevelopment projects in Havre,
Browning and rural communities in Montana
Brownfields provide funding to communities in rural Montana to address the problems
contamination of property and a stimulus for community and economic revitalization
Bear Paw Development Company: Julea Robbins, (406) 265-9226,
Sweetgrass Development Company: Sarah Converse, (406) 899-7959,
HAVRE, Mont. (May 20, 2024) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has announced $1 million in Brownfields grants to support the
environmental assessment, remediation and redevelopment of critical properties
communities in northern Montana. The EPA awards are given to two
beneficiaries. The Bear Paw Development Corporation receives $500,000 from EPA
Brownfields financing for high priority projects in Havre and Box Elder,
Montana. The Sweetgrass Development Corporation will also receive $500,000
review properties in Browning, Sunburst and East Glacier Park, Montana.
These investments are part of the agency’s Brownfields Multipurpose,
Assessment and Cleanup Programs (MAC).
“EPA’s Brownfields Grants help communities in rural Montana expand and
revitalize blighted and underutilized properties,” according to EPA Regional
Manager KC Becker. “We look forward to these efforts as they are addressed
contamination and creating new opportunities for the residents of Havre, Box
Elder, Browning, Sunburst and East Glacier Park.
“Too often, people in Montana suffer the lasting effects of toxic waste –
and the Brownfields in Havre, Box Elder and Glacier County desperately need it
these cleanup projects,” said Senator Jon Tester. “This funding is a big one
opportunity to stimulate economic development and improve quality of life. I am
proud to have secured this funding through my bipartisan infrastructure bill,
and I will continue to push for more cleanup projects in our state.”
Bear Paw Development Company: $500,000
The Bear Paw Development Corporation will use EPA Brownfields funding for this purpose
assessment of environmental contamination at proposed properties in Havre and Box
Elder, Montana.
“This significant investment in Bear Paw Development’s Brownfields Program
will ensure the good work of assessing contaminated properties in the North
Montana, with the aim of cleaning them up and getting them back to normal
will remain productive and useful as it has been for more than a decade,” he said
Paul Tuss, executive director of the Bear Paw Development Corporation.
“There are several wonderful examples in our region where it used to be
Contaminated properties have been cleaned up through Bear Paw’s Brownfields
Program and support companies or other contributing entities now
of great significance for the community in which they find themselves. This is a big problem
for our area and these funds will be used for good immediately
of the communities we serve.”
Major properties in Havre include the Bullhook Community Health Center, which
recently purchased vacant homes on the adjacent city block for expansion
medical, dental, behavioral health, and mental health care. EPA grant funds
will be used in assessing these homes for lead-based paint and asbestos
prior to demolition for the health center expansion. De Havre Senior
Center is also interested in expanding services, but a suspected petroleum
release is a barrier to their plans. EPA funds will be used for the assessment
potential risks that the center should consider when determining future investments
and redevelopment of the property.
The Bear Paw Development Corporation also identified the Havre Police and Fire Departments
Station as a priority location. Currently, women are not allowed to serve as
firefighters at the Havre Fire Department because the building does not provide
a separate ladies’ locker room and dormitory. The fire brigade would like that
to convert the unused police station shooting range into these spaces, but
Research has confirmed asbestos, lead and heavy metals on surfaces
throughout the building. EPA grant funding will be used to undertake expanded activities
cleaning planning for the best approach to remove the contamination.
The former Box Elder Landfill is located 40 kilometers south of Havre and is operated from
early 1970s to early 2000s. Hill County, current site
owner, wants to consider redevelopment of the site into a solar park
would help reduce energy costs for Box Elder and Rocky Boy’s residents
Reservation. EPA funding will be used to assess the former landfill and
determine whether contamination is present and whether remediation is necessary.
Ratings for Bullhook Community Health Center Redevelopment Projects
and the Havre Senior Center will expand services and education to the
residents of Havre. The expansion of the Bullhook Clinic is expected to be completed
approximately 15 jobs, and the redevelopment of the Havre police and fire departments
The station will reduce and at the same time allow exposure to asbestos and heavy metals
the station to hire female firefighters. Clearance and redevelopment of the
the former Box Elder landfill into a solar field will help create more
environmentally friendly energy sources and a reduction in energy costs
for local residents.
Sweetgrass Development Company: $500,000
The Sweetgrass Development Corporation in partnership with the North Central
Montana Economic Development District (NCMEDD) will use the EPA Brownfields
grant funding to assess five priority sites in Browning, Sunburst and
East Glacier Park, Montana.
“The NCMEDD Board of Directors and staff are very excited to move forward
with the $500,000 Brownfields Assessment grant. This in
combination with Brownfields’ recently acquired $1 revolving loan funds
million, will enable full project completion. We will be able to work
with landowners to identify contamination, develop a cleanup plan and relocate
to continue with the best possible remediation of the site,” says Sarah
Converse, executive director of Sweetgrass Development
Company. “Many main streets and older buildings change ownership,
We can also provide financing with our business revolving loan funds. This
will enable streamlined relief for businesses to strengthen our economy
economies. These funds will provide a tremendous benefit to rural north-central Montana
and assistance to our tribal partners.”
Priority locations in Browning, Montana include Coop’s Corner Conoco, a gas station
station located along US Highway 2/US Highway 89 intersection with a
unresolved petroleum emissions. Redevelopment plans for the property include
expanding the supermarket’s services to offer more retail items
basic household supplies, as well as laundry facilities and a car wash area.
The Cowboy Museum, a vacant lot in downtown Browning, had potential
developers are discouraged by the possibility of asbestos and lead-based paint.
EPA Brownfields funding will be used to assess these two sites
environmental issues and future redevelopment.
The project also identifies the Sunburst Car Wash and Suta North as two
priority locations in Sunburst, Montana. The Sunburst Car Wash facility is
currently for sale, but developers are concerned about the threats from
contamination from the site’s historic use as a lumbar garden. The owner of
the Suta North site, a former gas station with an undissolved petroleum deposit
release, is interested in selling the property to the city for development
a charging station for electric cars. The Glacier Village restaurant in Glacier
Park Village will also be assessed for asbestos and lead-based paint. EPA
Brownfields funding will help with assessments at these sites before they happen
can be sold and redeveloped.
Future uses of these locations include new commercial and retail spaces and staffing
homes near the Canadian border and an electric vehicle charging station.
The redevelopment of these sites will stimulate local investment, create jobs and…
expand services for rural communities.
Additional background:
The EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative
which set a target that would amount to 40% of the total benefits of certain federal lands
investments flow to communities marginalized by underinvestment
overloaded by pollution. About 86% of MAC and RLF supplement
program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas
including overburdened communities.
The EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has generated nearly $2.7 billion
in Brownfield Grants to assess, clean up and return contaminated property
affected properties to productive reuse. Before the bipartisan
Infrastructure Act made this program available approximately $60 million each
year. Thanks to the president’s historic investments in America through the
The bipartisan infrastructure bill, EPA, has now increased that annual investment
almost 400 percent.
To view the list of Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants for FY 2024
selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and
Web page for cleanup applicants.
For more information about EPA’s Brownfields Program, visit EPA’s Brownfields
web page.
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