A Brownfields site is a piece of property in which expansion, redevelopment or reuse of the property may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. When left idle, Brownfields properties can lay host to numerous health concerns or economic problems such as the well-being of humans, animals and livestock, environmental worries, reduced property values or taxes, underused infrastructure, or potential lawsuits. When property owners decide to clean up, redevelop or reuse these properties, unfortunately they are usually presented with numerous challenges.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the Eastern Montana Brownfield Coalition, a partnership between Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, Great Northern Economic Development, and Southeastern Montana Development, a $600,000 Brownfields grant to further efforts to assess, clean up and revitalize properties in communities throughout eastern Montana. Eastern Montana Brownfield Coalition 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. Eastern Montana Brownfield Coalition 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. 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. Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For more information on the Brownfield Program click here or contact Beth Epley at (406) 853-6471 or at eepley@epedc.com.