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Tribe among 171 communities receiving grants to assess and clean up properties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will receive a $200,000 EPA Brownfields grant to clean up the Old Towaoc landfill near the community of Towaoc. The cleanup will enable the Tribe to move forward with redevelopment plans for the site, including the installation of solar panels to produce renewable energy for use on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation.

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will use the EPA Brownfields funds to clean up the Old Towaoc Landfill, which has been closed and abandoned since the late 1990s. The cap used for closing the landfill is currently eroding, exposing landfill materials, trash and contamination. Site contaminants include metals, and organic and inorganic compounds. Upon completion of the cleanup, the Tribe intends to redevelop a portion of the landfill site as a solar farm.

The Tribe is among 171 communities nationwide receiving 264 grants totaling $67 million in brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. The FY14 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

“EPA Brownfields funds continue to help tribal communities put blighted sites back into productive use,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “These projects will create new community assets and leverage investments that create jobs and opportunities.”

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide.

Published in the July 2014 Edition of American Recycler News