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.
Brownfield Sites are defined as "real property, where the expansion, redevelopment , or reuse may be
complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant"
by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States. Cleaning up
and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes
existing infrastructure, takes pressures off undeveloped open land, and improves and protects the