Montana Department of Environmental Quality receives $2M to boost property
assessment and cleanup in communities, including Anaconda, Billings and Libby
Submitted by EPA Press Office
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will receive a $2,000,000 Brownfields assessment grant to complete environmental site assessments and spur redevelopment at dozens of properties in Montana communities, including target areas in the town of Anaconda, the City of Billings, and the Town of Libby.
Montana DEQ will use the EPA community-wide grant funds to conduct more than 50 environmental site assessments and develop additional site inventories, reuse plans, and market studies to facilitate cleanup and reuse opportunities. The target areas for this grant include several locations in Anaconda, Billings, and Libby, including the 20-acre Anaconda Railyard, a 45,000-square-foot underutilized former paper company building in Billings, and the Libby Food Pantry.
EPA’s grant will also allow Montana DEQ’s Brownfields program to expand its current services beyond hazardous building material inspections and assessments of soil and groundwater to products that help prepare sites for investment and reuse.
“EPA is proud to support Montana’s efforts to invest in property assessment, cleanup and redevelopment projects in the communities that need them the most,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We look forward to seeing these Brownfields funds improve community health and create new economic opportunities in places like Anaconda, Billings and Libby.”
“When industries change and communities develop, Montana’s towns and cities are often left to foot the bill on cleanup efforts,” said Senator Jon Tester. “My bipartisan infrastructure law will help to change that by reinvesting in the communities that have been most affected by leftover contamination and pollution. By working across the aisle with five Republicans and four other Democrats, we were able to secure critical funding to repurpose old or abandoned properties in the Treasure State and create good paying Montana jobs in the process.”
“This vital $2M infusion into the Montana Brownfields program will allow the Department of Environmental Quality to continue providing critical cleanup and redevelopment assistance on Brownfields sites, and lead to improved community outreach and assistance,” said Chris Dorrington, Director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. “Over the next five years, DEQ’s Brownfields program will now be able to assist communities and private developers with much needed planning and development tools such as community visioning, master plans, preliminary architectural reports and landscape renderings that will transform blighted Montana Brownfields properties into economic and community assets.”
The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justive40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of this announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas. EPA’s Brownfields grants and other technical assistance programs like the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative are also helping to build the clean energy economy.
This announcement includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from fiscal year appropriations.
The funding includes:
- $112.8 million for 183 selectees for Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
- $18.2 million for 36 selectees for Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
- $16.3 million for 17 selectees for Revolving Loan Fund grants that will provide funding for recipients to offer loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.
- $107 million for 39 high-performing Revolving Loan Fund Grant recipients to help communities continue their work to carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects on contaminated brownfield properties. Supplemental funding for Revolving Loan Fund Grants is available to recipients that have depleted their funds and have viable cleanup projects ready for work.
The list of selected applicants is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2022-brownfields-assessment-rlf-cleanup-arc-grants-and-rlf
Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example: To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.
Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% as a result of cleanup activities. Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
Cabinet Peak Medical Center celebrates
National Hospital Week
Submitted by Paula Collins
Cabinet Peaks Medical Center is celebrating National Hospital Week May 8-14. National Hospital Week takes place during the week of Florence Nightingale’s birthday and is an opportunity to highlight our hospitals, health systems, and health care workers. This year the hospital is also celebrating 70 years of quality, compassionate care to Lincoln County.
CPMC was formed in 1952 with the backing of community members that were affiliated with the J. Neils Lumber Company and the local St. John Lutheran Church. The church allowed the hospital founders to use their 501c3 status until the hospital received its own. The St. John’s Lutheran name was retained in recognition of the congregation’s support.
Since 1952, we have been your lifeline to healthcare services, assuring your family’s medical care is in good hands. Our hospital has changed its face many times over the years, but through it all, our highly skilled staff has never lost sight of the importance of our patient’s care and comfort.
In January of 2014, your local community hospital received a complete makeover when a new replacement facility was built across the street from the St. John’s Lutheran Hospital building. With that new building came a new name and Cabinet Peaks Medical Center was born.
Through the years, Cabinet Peaks Medical Center has served the many residents and visitors of the area. We have worked hard to expand our services to provide more local procedures and testing for our area residents. Over the last few years, health care has been pushed to its limits and it is especially important to recognize the stress and strain on health care workers. Tadd Greenfield, CPMC CEO, recognizes the struggles, “The changes brought to the healthcare industry in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic have had a profound effect on all of us. Now, more so than ever, hospitals have become a source hope, health, and healing. Over the last two years, it has become very clear just how much communities rely on their local hospitals, and it has become crystal clear just how much we rely on all of you! It is, therefore, appropriate and fitting that we celebrate National Hospital Week.
National Hospital Week is first and foremost a celebration of people. People that work tirelessly each day to ensure that hope and health are available to the communities we serve. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Administrative team, I want to extend my gratitude to all employees at CPMC for your hard work and dedication to our community and to our organization”