Chippewa Cree Tribe

Tribal Water

Resources Department

"Water is Sacred"

Programs: Brownfields

Our Program

Since 1995 the Brownfields Program has changed the way contaminated property is cleaned up and managed.  The program is designed to empower states, local communities, and any stakeholders in working together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, redevelop, and sustainably reuse brownfields for economic purposes.

A brownfield is a property that is being redeveloped or reused that is potentially contaminated with a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The estimated amount of brownfields sites in the U.S. is said to be more then 450,000. The cleanup and reuse of these sites increases the local tax bases, brings job growth, uses existing infrastructure, and takes development pressure off open lands. This helps protect and improve the environment for the greatest local benefit.

The EPA land revitalization emphasizes that cleanup and reuse are very integral to the anticipated goals of the program, and is a critical part of the EPA’s cleanup decisions. It doesn’t matter if it is a super fund site, solid waste disposal site, petroleum facility, former gas station, or an abandoned industrial facility.

 

The goals of the Brownfields program:

  • Protecting the Environment

               Addressing Brownfields promotes the health of the environment, and protects the American people.

  • Promoting Partnerships

               Collaboration and communication are essential to Brownfields cleanup and reuse.

  • Strengthening the Marketplace

               The Brownfields Program provides financial and technical assistance, and expands the private market.

  • Sustaining Reuse

               Redevelopment greatly expands a community’s quality of life.

 

Brownfields Program at Rocky Boy:

 

The Chippewa Cree Tribal Response program begins the second fiscal year of funding cycles in 2009. The program is beginning the fundamental stages of surveying and assessing brownfields sites. The 2007-2008 work plans instituted the birth of the Tribal Response program on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation through a cooperative funding assistance agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. First year work objectives included establishment of a website to inform the public of the existence of brownfields sites and records, site inventories, staff capacity development and public surveys.

 

 The Tribal response program can be easily modeled after neighboring Tribes in the region who have been involved with administering brownfields for a number of years. The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation differs in land status from other Tribes as the entire mass is held in trust for the Indians by the United States Department of Interior. Real estate issues associated with redevelopment and contamination liability are often settled internally through Tribal government or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The legal authority over non- enrolled members to enforce water quality, solid waste, and criminal codes for contamination is non- enforceable within the Tribal court system. Civil jurisdiction of contamination liability is enforceable within two years of offense commission by non- members under Tribal codes.

 

The brownfields program can be integrated with the Performance Partnership core programs for project monitoring objectives and data sharing. Ultimately the goal of the Tribal Response program is to cleanup, reuse, redevelop and revitalize real property that has been complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances. Brownfields sites located on the reservation may be hindered by ownership status and liability. Instances may occur where the site is located on a land assignment, owned privately by a Tribal member, or caused by a non- Tribal member or non- Tribal entity or agency. The Tribal Response program must investigate and exhaust liability avenues for cleanup actions on a site prior to performing site specific activities other than assessments.

 

Collaboration with Tribal departments, community service providers and economic planners can allow the Tribal Response program to work towards a common goal of revitalization of real property with stakeholders in Rocky Boy. Brownfields and EPA funding initiatives can provide cleanup of sites while funding from other agencies such as USDA Rural Development, Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, Historic Preservation and Tribal development can assist with the rebuilding of sites. The building of a brownfields program can strengthen the work force through public participation and prevent infrastructure development and residential property liabilities through assessments and cleanup of contaminated sites.

Brownfields Coordinator

Curtis Monteau, Jr.

Other Information

Miscellaneous Brownfields Program Photo's

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SOQ Questions (click to view) 77 kb's

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