CHEYENNE RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION — The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will receive a $200K EPA Brownfields grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up and redevelop the Old Swiftbird Day School site located north of Highway 212 and west of Junction BIA-7 in the Swiftbird Community of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
The Old Swiftbird Day School site was used as a primary school from 1960 until 1997 and as storage facility and a gift shop from 1997 until 2008. The property has been boarded up and abandoned since 2008. The site is contaminated with organic and inorganic materials, including lead, asbestos, and PCBs. The site is in a prime location and is considered a priority for redevelopment, which includes a pending plan to build a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for eagles and other raptors.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is among 171 communities nationwide receiving 264 grants totaling $67 million in brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. The 2014 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
“EPA Brownfields funds continue to help tribal communities put blighted sites back into productive use,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “These projects will create new community assets and leverage investments that create jobs and opportunities.”