The Brownfields program was established to inventory and prioritize Brownfield concerns and properties within our reservation boundaries. We collaborate with state, federal and local entities to address tribal Brownfield sites and concerns. A brownfield, by definition, is a property (either land or structure) which remains vacant or unused due to a potential or known hazard or contaminant present at the site and thus complicates or prevents the redevelopment, reuse or expansion of the property.
Hazards or contaminants can be such things as petroleum, mold, asbestos or lead-based paint. Brownfields are not superfund sites and do not contain the same hazard levels. A Brownfield in Indian Country, can be an abandoned house, old hospital, an open dump site, old farms/ranches, etc. Our Brownfields program finds and prioritizes these sites based on impact to community, public health and other factors.
The Brownfields Site definition is found in Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869)* – Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act signed into law January 11, 2002.
*Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869): “Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act” – “The 2002 Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (the “Brownfields Law”) codified many of the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency or EPA practices, policies and guidance. The Brownfields Law expanded EPA’s assistance by providing new tools for the public and private sectors to promote sustainable Brownfields cleanup and reuse.”
We are always looking for input and feedback from tribal members, stakeholders and the community. Do you know of some Brownfields in your community? Would you like more information regarding the CNO TRP/Brownfields Program? Contact the CNO Environmental Protection Services Department. Plan to attend one of the future CNO Brownfields events in your community!
A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
The 128(a) Tribal Response Program Grant helps to fund tribal activities to identify, prioritize, and find solutions to issues on potential brownfield properties or sites. This program can be used to find points of potential contamination in sensitive population areas and can help to remediate properties for reuse. There are also financial reasons to reuse Brownfields for redevelopment as they can help further stimulate community investments. The Choctaw Nation Tribal Response/Brownfields Program also allows for the expansion of our tribal sovereignty and protection of our people’s health.
Yes. The EPA offers several different grants or brownfield programs to assess potential brownfields either through state, tribal or federal funding programs.
Yes, however, we are limited in the properties we can assess. Choctaw Nation prioritizes Choctaw Nation properties due to restrictions in funding. We do offer to act as liaisons between municipalities, non-profit organizations, and other entities and the EPA when completing the EPA Targeted Brownfield Assessment program. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to expand our program capabilities.
It depends. The EPA and other state and federal agencies offer several different grants or brownfield programs to cleanup and remediate brownfield sites. However, CERCLA and SBLBRA do restrict and clarify who can qualify for competitive cleanup funding. These restrictions and clarifications can be found in Cleanup Grants or the Multipurpose Grants -Section III. – Eligibility Information and Threshold Criteria.
It depends. There are several guidance documents and EPA regulations which govern who is responsible for cleaning up contamination found at sites.
I want to buy commercial property. What do I need to do to protect myself from environmental liability?
Any time a person would like to purchase a property, an ASTM 1527-13 or 1527-21 standard Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) should be completed for the property before the actual purchase.
You can find out if there are any brownfield sites in your community by going to the EPA link:
You can participate in the brownfield redevelopment by filling out our survey, educating yourself on the brownfield process and how to identify a potential brownfield, contacting our coordinator if you have a property that needs redevelopment, and keeping an eye out for community meetings!
Brownfield sites are abandoned or underdeveloped sites which are easily placed into a voluntary cleanup program or other state, federal, or tribally funded targeted brownfield program where the federal government is usually not as involved. At a superfund site, the federal government is actively involved in the cleanup efforts.
CERCLA stands for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
It depends, criteria for meeting the grant requirements are dependent on the work needed on the site, the entity applying for funding, and the site requirements under each different grant. For more information, please reference the guidance or threshold criteria documents for each type of brownfield grant funding.