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Region 8

Brownfields in Region 8

Missoula Sawmill Site: Ready for Reuse
Missoula Sawmill Site: Ready for Reuse
On February 19th, after nearly 15 years of environmental work, the Missoula Sawmill property became fully “ready for reuse.” This long-awaited news from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality brings relief and excitement to the community as redevelopment plans begin to accelerate. Lying along the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, Montana, the sawmill operated until the early 1990s. The city and EPA’s initial Brownfields characterization of the site began in the late 1990s and confirmed extensive methane contamination from wood debris, among other contaminants. The city used its Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund grant to issue a total of $1.8 million in remediation loans. The site also benefitted from an $833,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded Brownfields sub-grant that expedited the cleanup. The city acquired the 15-acre riverside portion of the property, and has completed construction of significant portions of a new public park, including bike paths, greenspace, a pavilion, river access, and the use of historic sawmill objects as public art. On the remaining privately-owned 31 acres, Millsite Revitalization Project, LLP, plans to move forward with mixed retail and housing developments.
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What are Brownfields?

Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Region 8's Brownfields program provides funds and technical assistance to states, tribes, communities, and other stakeholders to assess, clean up and redevelop brownfields properties in the Rocky Mountain region, making it easier for such lands to become vital, functioning parts of their communities. On this site, you can find information about Brownfields grants, program contacts and more.

Brownfields Program Benefits

The Region 8 Brownfields program has created many benefits for local communities across Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, as highlighted below (results as of July 2015). For additional details, view the summary of EPA Brownfields Program Benefits (PDF)(1 pg, 269 K, About PDF).

  • Properties assessed: 2,070
  • Cleanups completed: 172
  • Acres made ready for reuse: 3,772
  • Dollars leveraged: $1,465,783,202
  • Jobs leveraged: 6,880

News and Highlights

We are pleased to announce 15 communities across Region 8 will receive $4.8 million in EPA Brownfields funding. These grants will aid communities and businesses to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and cleanup of abandoned industrial and commercial properties.  Congratulations to the following new grantees:

  • Laramie Rivers Conservation District, Wyoming will use a $200,000 cleanup grant to address soils primarily contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons and metals at the former Laramie Yttrium Plant/Midwest Refinery site.
  • Trinidad, Colorado will receive a $500,000 coalition grant to inventory and assess brownfield properties in the City of Trinidad, the Town of Aguilar and Las Animas County.
  • The City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota will use a $400,000 grant to assess properties in the their Downtown Redevelopment Area.  The city is working towards integrating the Big Sioux River “Falls Park” area into downtown to allow for more public green space, recreational opportunities and river access.
  • The City of Fort Collins, Colorado will receive a $500,000 coalition grant to conduct environmental assessments in the Poudre River/North College Innovation District.
  • Salt Lake County, Utah will receive a $297,850 assessment grant to develop an inventory and conduct environmental assessments in the Meadowbrook area to facilitate redevelopment of a transit supportive district between two light rail stations. 
  • Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce will use a  $145,833 cleanup grant to  remediate and remove asbestos, lead-based paint, PCBs, and mercury at the Public Drug Building in Cut Bank, Montana.
  • Adams County, Colorado will receive a $200,000 assessment grant to inventory and conduct environmental assessments on properties focused in a two-mile corridor in the Clear Creek Valley.
  • The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will use $200,000 to clean up the Former Housing Authority Building located in the center of the Lower Brule Community.
  • Great Falls Development Authority will receive a $400,000 assessment grant to conduct environmental assessments focused on the downtown core.
  • Lower Willow Creek Restoration Company will use a $200,000 cleanup grant to address mine-scarred land in Creede, Colorado.
  • Sweetgrass Development Corporation will be awarded a $400,000 assessment grant to assess sites in Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole counties in Montana as well as sites on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
  • The City of Northglenn, Colorado will use a $400,000 assessment grant in the West 104th commercial district.
  • The City of Missoula, Montana will receive a $400,000 grant to complete assessments focused on the urban renewal districts along the Clark Fork River waterfront.
  • Kiowa County, Colorado will use a $200,000  grant to clean a former hotel building in downtown Eads.
  • The City of Denver, Colorado will receive $400,000 grant to conduct assessments on properties that will assist in implementing the South Platte Corridor Study. Denver’s South Platte Corridor Study was funded under an EPA brownfields area-wide planning grant.

Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Grantees Selected
EPA is awarding approximately $3.6 million in grants to 19 communities across the country to recruit, train, and place unemployed and underemployed individuals with the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field.  In Region 8, the Denver Indian Center will receive a $192,300 grant to fund a training program to provide unemployed and underemployed individuals with skills and certifications needed to enter careers in the environmental field.

New Brownfields Area Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grantees Selected
EPA is awarding approximately $4 million in grants to 20 communities across the country to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites as part of the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) program.   In Region 8, the City of Cheyenne will use $200,000 area-wide planning grant funds to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategies for integrating the cleanup and reuse of brownfield sites in an 85 block area adjacent to downtown known as the West Edge. The City has already begun brownfields work in this area under their brownfields assessment and revolving loan fund grants.

2015 National Brownfields Conference
The National Brownfields Conference will be held September 2-4, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. Online registration is open. Several Region 8 brownfields grant recipients will be highlighting their projects during the conference sessions.

Please join us at the Region 8 Open House in Chicago prior to the start of the conference on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 from 4:00-5:30 pm at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. Stay tuned for more details on the Region 8 Open House.

View archived Regional Brownfields news »