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Brownfields Response Program

NCT Environmental Protection Department

What is a Brownfields Site?

The law defines a Brownfield site as:..."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. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off green spaces and working lands. On this site, you can find information about US EPA's Brownfields Program including the Brownfields Law, Brownfields Grants, Land Revitalization Information, and more...."(1) Section 128(a) funds cannot be used at sites that, do not meet, or subsequently do not meet, the definition of a Brownfield Site.

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NCT Environmental Protection Department

It is the mission of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe Environmental Protection Department to protect, conserve, and enhance the quality of human health and the environment for the benefit of current and future generations of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Through the remediation of past adverse land management and development activities and by employing enforceable, ecologically sound, culturally sensitive, and developmentally responsible regulatory practices, the Northern Cheyenne Environmental Protection Department will strive to maintain the ecological integrity of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

Brownfields and Tribal Response Program

The overall goal of the Tribal Response Program effort is to set in motion the process of making the sites safe and prepared for redevelopment, as well as to ensure that contamination does not threaten public health and the environment during and after assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of the site.

The main goal is to ensure that all environmental data generated is scientifically valid and is of acceptable completeness to allow the Tribal Response Program to make informed decisions on appropriate future Brownfields property and land reuse.

In 1995, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Brownfields Program and has since grown into a principal nationwide plan of environmental restoration. In 2009, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe began a Tribal Response Program funded by grant monies provided by the USEPA 128 (a) Tribal Response Program Grant.

Brownfields can be almost anywhere, generally, Brownfield sites exist in a city's or town's industrial section, on locations with abandoned factories or commercial buildings, or other previously polluting operations. A Brownfield Site can be anything that might include the following: dry cleaning establishments, gas stations, underground storage tanks, methamphetamine labs, abandoned or under used buildings, open dumps, and mine scarred land.

Typical contaminants found in the soil, subsurface and ground water in and around Brownfield sites may include but not limited to the following contaminants: solvents, pesticides, heavy metals (ie: lead based paint), diesel, gasoline and Asbestos.

The 128(a) Tribal Response Program funds were used to perform program management activities that include but are limited to:


  • Manage and Implement the 128 (a) Tribal Response Programs Four Elements:
  1. Timely Survey and Inventory of Brownfield's Sites
  2. Oversight and Enforcement Authorities
  3. Mechanisms and resource to provide meaningful opportunities for public participation
  4. Mechanisms for approval of a cleanup plan and verification and certification that cleanup is complete.
  • Develop and Approve Request for Proposals (RFPs)
  • Ensuring that the contractors perform all environmental data collection activities, including field sampling, testing, monitoring and post-cleanup monitoring
  • Administer and implement the NCT Solid Waste Code Ordinance #XXX
  • preparation and submittal of the Mid and End fiscal year reports to USEPA Regional officer
  • Ensure environmental data collection activities are performed and reported
  • Maintaining a Public Record for the 128 (a) Tribal Response Program
  • Assist and provide Environmental Technical Assistance when necessary to other Tribal Departments
  • Responds to environmental concerns and complaints
  • Obtains training as needed and available
  • Prepare Property Profile Forms

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Assessment of a Brownfield Site

All Brownfield Sites need to be assessed by an experienced environmental professional before they can be redeveloped.(2) This involves the analysis of the soil, groundwater and surface water through testing for hazardous constituents, and ensures that appropriate measure are taken to reduce identified risks and liabilities. Any development plan must be made compliant with current USEPA and NCTEPD Regulations. If the environmental assessments support redevelopment, the next step is remediation.

Remediation of a Brownfield Site

Remediation of a Brownfield site is the removal of all known contaminants to levels considered safe for human health and the environment. Redevelopment can only take place after all environmental health risks have been assessed and removed. Remediation can be expensive and complex. Not all sites will be deemed suitable for remediation, particularly if the costs exceed the value of the land after development. In the last few years several new and exciting remediation technologies have started to emerge. These are proving to be relatively low-cost compared to traditional processes.

  • Bioremediation uses the natural processes of plants, enzymes and fungi to destry or neutralize toxins and contaminants
  • Phytoremediation uses plants to store contaminants in their leaves and stems (known as Bioaccumulation). Some contaminants such as heavy metals can be harvested and mined for reuse (phytomining). With phytomremediation, it is critical that contaminants do not enter the food chain. With this in mind, scientist are currently exploring the value of biofuel and energy crops as phytoremediators.(3)

These new remediation technologies provide important information about the abilities of natural processes to transform toxic material back into a nontoxic state. This information has widespread application in many situations, but is particularly relevant for restoration of Brownfield Sites. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe Environmental Protection Department will investigate all avenues of remediation options to find the best suitable remediation for each Brownfield site.

If you need to report a potential Brownfield Site, would like an environmental site assessment done at a potential Brownfields site or neeed more information available in the public record please provide the site location and contact information to Charlene Alden, EPD Director at PO Box 128, Lame Deer, MT 59043-0128.

The Brownfields Coordinator can also be reached to (406) 477-6506 ext 102. The Environmental Protection Department offices are located at 100 Dull Knife Drive in Lame Deer, MT; EPD is located in the "Old Mormon Church" at the top of the hill behind the Cheyenne Depot Gas Station. Normal office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday. Closed on most Holiday and Tribally Recongized Holidays.

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Clean Up Projects

No cleanup projects are anticipated at this time

Public Record

The purpose of the public record is to allow the public easy access to information that describes what response actions were taken in previous years. The public record also provides the plans for the next Fiscal Year and whether or not the site will be suitable for unrestricted use.

Information available includes:

  • Site Name
  • Site Location
  • Whether site, upon completion of response action, will be suitable for unrestricted use.
  • Identification of Institutional Controls

Referred Links

1. USEPA Definition of Brownfields. 2. All Appropriate Inquiries Fact Sheet Web link to All Appropriate Inquiries 3.

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