The Tribal Response Program is designed to identify and address contaminated properties that are present on lands under the jurisdiction of SCIT. The goal of the program is to identify, cleanup, and reuse impacted property in a manner that protects human health and the environment. Examples of brownfield sites on SCIT lands are the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School (MIIBS) grounds, illegal dump sites, and a former truck stop.
The elements of the Tribal Response Program include the following:
- Timely survey and inventory of brownfield sites
- Development of oversight and enforcement authorities
- Mechanisms and resources to provide opportunities for public participation
- Mechanisms for approval of a cleanup plan and verification that cleanup is complete
- Establishment and maintenance of a public record that includes sites at which response actions have been planned or completed
In addition to this, the Environmental Response Program is actively involved in pipeline management issues across the state. Involvement with local and regional emergency response personnel ensures that the views of SCIT are considered when decisions are made regarding our natural resources.
The program was created by an Act of Congress, specifically by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Section 128(a) of CERCLA calls for the creation of State and Tribal Response Programs, which are funded through grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The SCIT Environmental Response Program works collaboratively with USEPA Region 5 out of Chicago to ensure proper management of the program. In addition, Environmental Response Program staff regularly work with other federal, state, and local agency partners to ensure protection of human health and the environment. This collaboration is a cornerstone of the program and is essential for efficient use of resources.