Brownfields Response Program

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe manages an EPA Brownfield Tribal Response Program. The program has been in place since 2010 when it received its first funding agreement under the EPA Brownfields Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) 128(a) grant funding program.

Heron in flight over wetlands in Akwesasne

The purpose of the program is to ensure protective and sustainable cleanup of Brownfields properties so that contaminated sites can be put back into productive use. Brownfields properties are properties that the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

The Tribe’s response program develops annual work plans, develop regulations, assessment plans, conducts outreach, conduct assessments, carries out community involvement and training as they relate to Brownfield sites on the reservation. It is responsible for identifying potential sites, conducting assessment of those site and working toward cleanup activities. It is also responsible for developing and enhancing the capacity of the Tribe to manage contaminated sites.

Activities in which the Tribe’s response program has been involved with are:
  • The inventory of Brownfield sites and mapping them for reference and research the history of contamination at these sites
  • The attendance of staff at training and conferences to further Brownfields knowledge and to increase the capacity of the Tribe to manage Brownfields sites
  • Conducting Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) at the Frogtown open dump site
  • Conducting Phase I ESA’s at abandoned structures sites throughout the reservation
  • Involving the community and sharing with them the results of the Brownfield inventory and site assessments.
  • Analyzing information about the impacts of Brownfield sites on community natural and cultural resources
  • Developing a system to prioritize clean-up of Brownfield sites
  • Annually updating public record about the Frogtown and abandoned structures sites (maintaining a record of ongoing assessments and cleanups)
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