WHAT IS A BROWNFIELDS SITE?
The term "Brownfield site" means 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. Cleanup projects typically involve mine scarred lands or property contaminated with asbestos, lead paint, PCB, petroleum products, or controlled substances such as methamphetamine.
WHAT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE?
ASSESSMENTS: Both the EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have funds available for conducting assessments on properties that are known or suspected to be contaminated. Targeted Brownfields Assessments (TBAs) can be requested on properties for which redevelopment is hindered due to concern over the liability for cost of cleanup. SMDC partners with EPA and DEQ to obtain assessments on qualifying properties.
CLEANUP: SMDC is a partner in the Central Montana Brownfields Coalition (CMBC). SMDC manages a $1.6 million grant awarded to the Coalition by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cleanup projects. Under the grant, loans are made and subgrants are awarded to qualifying parties.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR LOAN OR SUBGRANT FUNDS?
Funding assistance cannot be provided to parties who are potentially liable for contamination of the site. SMDC can lend up to 80% of the cost of cleanup to both public and private borrowers. Terms of the loans vary based on community support for the project, borrowers financial strength, and other circumstances. Entities eligible for subgrants include cities, counties, tribes, states, economic development partners, and quasi-units of local government. The maximum subgrant award is $200,000 per site, and subgrant applicants must own the site.
RECENT BROWNFIELDS ASSESSMENT PROJECTS
TBA on Main Street Lot in Lewistown: Samples taken on the above site were determined to contain no or low-level petroleum contamination that was below DEQ's minimum threshold; therefore, a no further action letter was issued to the property owner in 2014. As a result of the findings, concerns regarding contamination will no longer hinder a sale of the property to a potential developer.
TBA on former gas station site in Lewistown (former Ernie's Auto): EPA's contracted environmental specialists conducted the field assessment work on the above site in June 2015. The owner has agreed to gift the property to the City of Lewistown, and the City is willing to accept the property and clean it up if petroleum contamination is determined to be above the minimum contamination threshold. The City qualifies for grant and loan funding under the EPA Cleanup Grant awarded to SMDC which, if necessary, will be utilized to clean up the property for redevelopment purposes. Click here to review the cleanup alternatives considered for this site.
TBA on former post and pole treatment plant in Lewistown: In July 2015, DEQ's contracted environmental specialist met with City officials to plan assessment field work at the above site that is now owned by the City. Others present at the planning session included DEQ staff, SMDC staff, and the former operator of the plant. The assessment is being performed to determine whether wood treatment chemicals have contaminated soil on the property.
TBA on former gas station site in Hilger (former Hilger Country Store): Petroleum contamination was detected on the above property by Montana Department of Transportation employees during a highway construction project. In July 2015, SMDC staff participated in an initial site visit and assessment planning session. Other interested parties attending the site review included the property owner, adjacent property owners, officials from DEQ, and DEQ's contracted environmental specialist. Once the assessment is completed, officials will determine whether cleanup activities are necessary to assure the property continues to be a viable commercial site. Click here to review the cleanup alternatives considered for this site.
Former gas station site in Harlowton (former Bob's Chevron): Petroleum contamination was detected on the site. Click here to review the cleanup alternatives considered for this site.
RECENT BROWNFIELDS CLEANUP PROJECTS
Historic barn prior to restoration (left) and during lead-based paint abatement work (middle). Historic barn after abatement and
restoration work completed (right).
Lead paint cleanup on historical barn at Fergus County Fairgrounds: SMDC partnered with local historians in their quest to "Save the Barn". SMDC awarded grant funds to Fergus County in 2013 for lead-based paint abatement work during the restoration of the historic draft-horse barn.
Methamphetamine contaminated house prior to cleanup (left) and during demolition (middle). Meth House Site after cleanup (right).
Methamphetamine and asbestos abatement at site owned by Musselshell County: SMDC awarded grant funds to Musselshell County in 2014 for the cleanup of a meth house in Roundup. The County acquired the property through a drug enforcement after a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in the structure was seized by law enforcement officials.
Caird Site prior to cleanup (left & middle). Caird Site after cleanup (right).
Cleanup on industrial site (foundary and machine shop started in 1895) located on a major intersection in Helena: SMDC awarded Brownfields grant and loan funds to CMBC partner Montana Business Assistance Connection (MBAC) in 2014. The funds were used to complete cleanup work on this highly visible site. MBAC purchased the Caird property earlier in 2014 so that the site could be cleaned up and marketed for redevelopment purposes.