Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians to receive $500,000 to clean up contamination at buildings in Dunseith, N.D.

Devils Lake Journal

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians to receive $500,000 to clean up contamination at buildings in Dunseith, N.D.    

EPA Brownfields grant will fund cleanup of asbestos, metals, PCBs and other contaminants in vacant San Haven complex 

Belcourt, N.D.  -  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians will receive a $500,000 Brownfields cleanup grant to eight buildings located on the 600-acre San Haven complex located at 98th Street NE San Haven Road in the City of Dunseith, North Dakota.    

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians is among 151 communities nationwide selected to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant programs. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.   

“The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians has been a great partner in using EPA Brownfields funds to address contamination concerns in communities across the Reservation,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “This grant will help remove significant contamination so the Tribe can move forward with future plans to make the San Haven property available for reuse.”  

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians will use the EPA grant funds to clean up eight buildings in the San Haven complex, a 600-acre facility used to tuberculosis patients from 1909 to 1970, and which operated as a state hospital from 1971 until 1987 and as a home for various business enterprises, such as sewing and clothing. The now-vacant buildings pose significant health and safety risks for trespassers and are contaminated with lead, asbestos, PCBs and other metals, and organic and inorganic contaminants. The Tribe plans to redevelop the San Haven site as new housing and an RV Park and Campground after the buildings have been cleaned up and safely demolished. 

“We are grateful for this grant and the opportunity to finally clean up San Haven, one of our most difficult and costly brownfields properties,” said Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Vice Chairman Elmer Davis Jr. “We also look forward to using our CARES Act funding to support our cleanup and redevelopment goals at San Haven and other brownfields in the beautiful Turtle Mountains.” 

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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