Do we have Brownfields?

Brownfields Defined

"With certain legal exclusions and additions, 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 contaminate."

Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869) - "Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act" - January 11,2002.


Section 128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million grant program to establish and enhance state and tribal response programs. Generally, these response programs address the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields sites and other sites with actual or perceived contamination. Section 128(a) grants are awarded and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional offices.

All communities have properties that are abandoned, underused or have fallen into conditions of blight. When considering Brownfields, too often only industrial "war zones" or inner city neighborhoods in the big cities come to mind. Brownfields are everywhere, however, in both urban and rural areas.  They come in all sizes. The Brownfield property can be the former lumberyard, the corner feed mill abandoned in the 1950s, or the vacant city lot where the old factory burned down or a Ma and Pa business was located when "Dad was a Kid". 

 Many properties suffer from the perception of environmental problems.  Most have excellent business locations, existing infrastructure and access to transportation. Due to fear of the "unknown" these buyers, lenders and developers pass over these properties for less "risky" property transactions.  Merely the fear of environmental contamination and regulatory intervention has been enough to hinder or stop redevelopment of these vital community areas.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe 

Department of Environmental

and Natural Resources


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