Southern Ute Tribal Seal

Environmental Compliance and Brownfields Programs

The Environmental Compliance Program’s mission is to protect and sustain the environment through compliance with planning responsible future activities to minimize environmental impacts, conserve the irreplaceable natural and cultural resources, and  to maximize pollution prevention. 

Brownfields’ mission is to utilize grant funds to remediate potentially hazardous sites on abandoned Tribal properties to ensure protection of natural resources. The definition of Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

Spill

EC staff respond to toxic spill – photo Brett François

The EC/BP performs and coordinates inspections and investigations on environmental compliance and prepares reports to appropriate tribal departments and to Tribal Council on results of inspections and investigations. The EC/BP coordinates compliance and enforcement activities among the Tribal Council, Lands, Forestry, Wildlife, Range, Energy, Natural Resource Enforcement, BIA, EPA, USACE, and other appropriate Federal Agencies, and responds as part of a team of several tribal programs to hazardous materials incidents. The Compliance Program works with Tribal Water Quality, Air Quality, and General Assistance Programs to ensure compliance on tribal land.

 

Abandoned House, Ignacio, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 05/2016 – 09/2016

Priority Site – Tribe wanted to eliminate environmental and safety hazards of abandoned houses in order to construct new houses or remodel current houses on land where infrastructure exists for future use.

Assessment and Cleanup – The Environmental Programs Division’s (EPD) Brownfields Coordinator used EPA funds to conduct a Brownfields Site Assessment for this house back in May 2016. The EPD’s Brownfield Coordinator contracted a certified contractor to conduct asbestos abatement in August 2016.

Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council, Home Owner, Housing, Lands and TERO.  Site is now ready to be demolish or remodeled.

Institutional Controls – Letter to Environmental Division Head, Tribal Council, Home Owner, Housing, and Lands summarizing assessment and cleanup with no reuse restrictions needed for future use.

This abandoned house has been demolished and will become a future residential property

 

Tribal Home, Ignacio, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 05/2016 – 09/2016

Priority Site – Tribe wanted to eliminate environmental and safety hazards of Tribal Homes in order to construct new houses or remodel current houses on land where infrastructure exists for future use.

Assessment and Cleanup – The Environmental Programs Division’s (EPD) Brownfields Coordinator used EPA funds to conduct a Brownfields Site Assessment for this house back in May 2016. The EPD’s Brownfield Coordinator contracted a certified contractor to conduct asbestos abatement in August 2016.

Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council, Home Owner, Housing, Lands and TERO.  Due to the fact that this home is currently in use, all environmental and safety hazards have been eliminated while still keeping home livable.

Institutional Controls – Letter to Environmental Division Head, Tribal Council, Home Owner, Housing, and Lands summarizing assessment and cleanup with limited restrictions for future use.

 

Annex Building, Ignacio, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 04/2015 – 06/2016

Priority Site – Tribe wanted to eliminate environmental and safety hazards of the Annex Building in order to construct new infrastructure or remodel current historical buildings more for future use.

Assessment and Cleanup – The Environmental Programs Division’s (EPD) Brownfields Coordinator used EPA funds to conduct a Brownfields Site Assessment for this property back in April 2016. The EPD’s Brownfield Coordinator contracted a certified contractor to conduct asbestos abatement in June 2016.

Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council, DNR Staff, Lands, Maintenance, Housing, and TERO.  Site is now ready for Housing to demolish or remodel or continue to be utilized.

Institutional Controls – Letter to Environmental Division Head, DNR Staff, Lands, and Maintenance summarizing assessment and cleanup with reuse restrictions for further use.

 

Three abandoned houses – Southern Ute Indian Reservation – 11/2013

  • Priority Site – Tribe wanted to eliminate environmental and safety hazards of abandoned houses in order to construct new houses on land where infrastructure exists.
  • Assessment and Cleanup – EPA conducted a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) for the three houses.  RFP was issued and a certified contractor selected to conduct asbestos abatement .
  • Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council and Housing, and TERO.  Sites are now ready for Housing to demolish.
  • Institutional Controls – Letter to Environmental Division Head and Housing summarizing assessment and cleanup with no reuse restrictions needed.

Asbestos abatement

 

Cabezon Ranch near Pagosa Springs, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 6/2009 – 6/2010

  • Priority Site – Tribe hired a certified contractor to conduct a Phase I Environmental Assessment and purchased old 758 acre ranch within Reservation boundaries on Fee Land. Tribe was currently using site for recreational purposes and some structures posed health, environmental and safety hazards.
  • Assessment and Cleanup – EPA conducted an expanded Phase I and a Phase II Assessment under a Targeted Brownfields Assessment. Tribe hired a certified contractor to conduct cleanup. Most contamination included asbestos, lead, rodent droppings/vectors, containers, open dumps. Funded from Brownfields Tribal Response Program.
  • Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council and Administration, Community, Tribal Construction and Project Management, and Tribal Employment Rights Office. Consultation with State Historic Preservation Office on structures. Timber and wood frame barn and newer garage saved.
Cabezon Ranch Before

Cabezon Ranch Before

 

Cabezon Ranch After

Cabezon Ranch After

 

Old Casino, Ignacio, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 11/2010 – 10/2011

  • Priority Site – Located on main street; prime redevelopment property.
  • Assessment and Cleanup – EPA conducted a Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment under a Targeted Brownfields Assessment. Cleanup included removal of asbestos, ballasts, florescent light bulbs, chemicals and hydraulic fluid. All contamination was mitigated.
  • Coordination – Environmental Programs Division and Construction Project Management collaborated together using Brownfields and Tribal funding to complete the project. Brownfields paid for the contamination cleanup and disposal aspect; while Construction and Project Management covered demolition and construction debris removal and disposal costs.

 

Ute Park Buildings, Ignacio, CO – Assessed and Cleaned-up 10-12/2008

  • Priority Site – Tribe wanted to use old abandoned Rec Hall/Council Chamber site to build a new Multi-Purpose Facility and Chapel.
  • Assessment and Cleanup – RFP issued, certified contractor selected to conduct ASTM Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and cleanup. Most contamination included asbestos and lead. Funded from Brownfields Tribal Response Program.
  • Coordination – Major stakeholders included Tribal Council and Administration, Community, Tribal Construction and Project Management, and TERO.
  • Reuse – Tribal funded construction of new buildings completed December 2010.
Ute Park Cleanup

Ute Park Cleanup