Brownfields Tribal Response Program
The SITC Brownfields Tribal Response Program (TRP) began in 2008 as an environmental program within the Swinomish Office of Planning and Community Development. SITC receives a yearly grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain the program.
What is a Brownfields?
Brownfields sites are abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial properties where development, redevelopment or expansion is complicated by actual or suspected environmental contamination. By investigating and cleaning up brownfields sites, many of which are abandoned areas that may impose an environmental risk to the local community, development can take place with less concern about legal liabilities related to site contamination. This benefits the Swinomish Tribe by bringing jobs to the area, making abandoned property functional, and possibly preserving sites that have historic and cultural significance to the community.
The definition of a brownfields site is found in Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869) "Small business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act" signed into law January 11, 2002. For more information on the definition of a brownfields site and information on brownfields, please see Brownfields | US EPA.
Examples of potential Brownfield sites on the Swinomish Reservation
SITC Brownfields Tribal Response Program Overview
A Brownfields Tribal Response Program is required by the EPA to have certain components. Listed below are the general components of our Tribal Response Program:
Timely Survey and Inventory
- Establish a system to identify, prioritize, and survey brownfields sites on the Reservation
- Review databases and other sources of existing information to identify sites
- Update existing databases with newly assessed brownfields site information
- Conduct assessments on potential brownfields sites by trained staff or by hiring a qualified contractor
- Estimate costs for cleanup for a site
- Develop a reuse/redevelopment plan for sites taking into consideration the contamination issues
Public Record (Available for review in the Swinomish Planning Office)
- Update annually (or more often if appropriate)
- Include site locations, responses, and future plans
- Incorporate brownfields information into current public outreach activities
- Establish procedure for prior notice and opportunity for public comment as well as a mechanism by which an affected person may request a site assessment be conducted
- Create a draft cleanup and verification plan and implement a review process
- Design a process by which cleanup plans and efforts can be certified and include procedures, documentation, and a step by step process
Oversight and Enforcement
- Establish a follow-up inspection protocol to survey any new brownfields sites
- Research existing environmental oversight and enforcement authorities
- Develop administrative procedures to assure response actions are conducted in a lawful manner and protect human health and the environment → Learn More
Brownsfield Tribal Response Program Public Record
The Public record for the Swinomish TRP is maintained by the Environmental Management Coordinator in the Swinomish Planning Office, 11430 Moorage Way, La Conner, WA (360-466-2631, 7299). Information in the Public Record is compiled on an indexed CD and can be viewed by the public in the Planning Office.
Information currently contained in the Public Record includes an inventory of brownfields sites on the Reservation, completed environmental assessments, and information related to ongoing cleanups. The Public Record is routinely updated as information related to the program becomes available.
Swinomish Brownsfields Cleanup Projects
- Swinomish Lime Storage Site Cleanup learn more → Learn More
- Skagit Plastics Pile Cleanup (McGlinn Island causeway) → Learn More
Contact Us - Report a Site
The SITC Brownfields Program can only investigate what it knows about, and for that reason input from the community is crucial. We encourage your comments and information about potential sites on the Reservation as well as sites we are currently investigating. Although Brownfields grant funds to date have investigated tribal trust lands on the Reservation, allotment or fee lands may be eligible for assessment. Contact the SITC Environmental Management program for details on this.
Brownfields Sites Can Potentially Include the Following:
- Abandoned warehouses
- Abandoned industrial buildings
- Old buildings/factories/gas stations
- Open/illegal dumping (particularly involving hazardous wastes like gas, oil, pesticides, paints, etc).
- Methamphetamine labs: Materials found at these sites are extremely hazardous; don't investigate yourself. If you suspect a meth lab in operation or discover a location you suspect might be a former meth lab, call the police immediately.
- Above-ground or underground fuel storage tanks that are abandoned or suspected to be leaking
What is Not a Brownfields Site:
- A site the owner is liable for and that is being used as an open dump
- A site where a removal action by another organization or agency has or is occurring
Please add a comment and/or description to report a possible brownfields site or to comment on sites currently being investigated.
Phone: 360/466.2631 or 360/466.7299
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Office of Planning and Community Development
Environmental Management Program
11430 Moorage Way
La Conner, WA 98257-9433