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Three ND projects receive EPA "Brownfield" support

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has awarded “Brownfields” grants to three North Dakota projects.

"We provide mostly grants and technical assistance to communities, to conduct environmental assessments and environmental cleanups, so the properties can be reused and put into productive use," said EPA Brownfields project manager Ted Lanzano, from Denver.

One of the grants awarded was $500,000 to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, for the tribe to remove the buildings of the old San Haven Hospital, a former tuberculosis sanatorium near Dunseith. It closed in 1987.

"It's a real hazard," Lanzano said. "There's quite a bit of asbestos contamination in the building right now. And this grant will be used to complete all the abatements, so the building can be demolished."

Lanzano said the Tribe wants to use the grounds for tourist purposes – initially, for camping and RV parking, because it’s close to the International Peace Garden.

Another grant for $358,500 has been awarded to the Dakota College at Bottineau, to clean up contamination in the Old Main and Milligan Hall buildings.

"They are going to be re-used to support the college's growing nursing program," Lanzano said. "They talk about opening a new 'Center for Rural Health Education' in the buildings. And we're really excited to support that."

And Mandan will be receiving $300,000 to conduct environmental assessments in some downtown buildings – including former gas stations and dry cleaners.

"The grant will be used to assess those properties, so they can be cleaned-up for eventual redevelopment," Lanzano said.

Since the Brownfields grant program began back in 1995, EPA has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess properties and return them to productive use.

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