Environmental Program

Brownfields

Tribal Response Program

Old mill at Port Gamble in its heyday

The old mill site at Port Gamble.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Response Program is funded by a grant through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant creates State and Tribal Response programs, which oversee assessment and cleanup activities from properties that have either real or perceived contamination. These types of properties are called Brownfield Sites.

Many Brownfield Sites exist on the reservation and in the Usual & Accustomed hunting and fishing grounds. The types of Brownfield sites can vary anywhere from old mill sites to potentially contaminated buildings.

The PGST Natural Resource Department applies for additional grants to study and clean up these properties since the Tribal Response Program oversees the assessment and cleanup activities of Brownfield Sites. A key aspect of the Brownfields program is that the properties will eventually be restored, redeveloped or reused for economic or recreational value. The Tribe is interested in restoring the properties and implementing low impact redevelopment, which would allow for economic growth while protecting and enhancing our natural resources.

Four Elements of the Tribal Response Program

Timely survey and inventory of brownfield sites in state or tribal land

The goal for this element is to enable a tribe to establish or enhance a system that will provide a reasonable estimate of the number, likely location and the general characteristics of each Brownfield. These inventories should evolve over time and reflect a prioritization of sites based on community needs, planning priorities, and protection of human health and the environment.

Oversight and enforcement authorities or other mechanisms and resources

The goal of this element is for Tribal Response Programs to oversee and enforce activities to ensure that a response action will protect human health and the environment and be conducted in accordance with applicable laws. The tribe will complete the necessary response activities to enforce its goals.

Mechanisms and resources to provide meaningful opportunity for public participation

The goal for this element is to ensure that the community has an opportunity to provide feedback on the Tribal Response Program. The Natural Resource department has many ways in which the community can participate in the Tribal Response Program. One way is to offer educational classes that address sustainable practices, other ways are to have public meetings about Brownfields, and to provided outreach programs for school aged children on the reservation. The Natural Resource Department also benefits from being located on the PGST Reservation which allows the TRP manager to have frequent interactions with tribal members, community members, and also other departments. These interactions are important as the TRP manager continues to update the Brownfields inventory and works to update the community on assessments and cleanup activities on the Reservation.

Mechanisms for approval of cleanup and verification and certification that cleanup is complete

The goal for this element is for Tribal Response Programs to have mechanisms and ways to approve cleanup activities on the Reservation and in PGST’s usual and accustomed area. Another goal of this element is to also have a way to verify that appropriate actions were taken for each Brownfield site and its corresponding response actions. For this element PGST works closely with state and federal agencies to ensure that any assessment and cleanup activities meet state and federal standards. Other tasks that fall under this element are performing public outreach about cleanup activities and managing contractual staff.

Community Events and Announcements

This section is under development.