Chadron Receives EPA Brownfield Assessment Funds


     EPA Region 7 Land, Chemical, and Redevelopment Division Director Jeff Robichaud this morning presented Chadron with a ceremonial check for $500,000 to determine the extent of pollution at several locations in Chadron.

      Robichaud told a gathering at City Hall that the money comes from the federal Infrastructure Act, which tripled the amount of money available for Brownfields Assessment grants like the one coming to Chadron.

Robichaud says brownfields assessment grants are an important early step in towns such as Chadron redeveloping locations that may be polluted because of earlier structures or operations.

Robichaud is especially excited that Chadron received a grant, the only one in Nebraska, because the impact will be greater here than from a similar-sized grant in a larger community.

The $500,000 from the EPA will be used to conduct 15 Phase-1 and 7 Phase-2 environmental site assessments, develop a brownfield site inventory, and prepare 5 cleanup plans. Separate funding would be needed to implement the plans.

      Chadron is focusing its efforts on the Historic Downtown area. Priority sites include the Rail Front District near Main Street, Railroad Park, a former gas station, a former power facility, and the Roundhouse – currently used to refurbish railcars and equipment for the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad.

     Non-downtown sites will also be reviewed. Among those are the old Chadron Community Hospital, which was razed earlier this year, and the former Nebraska Dept of Road shop and related yards on Maple Street that are still owned by the state.