Brownfields Tribal Response Program

Brownfields Tribal Response Program

The Squaxin Brownfields Tribal Response Program (TRP) started in 2018 as an environmental program within the Squaxin Tribe Natural Resources Office. Squaxin Island Tribe receives a yearly grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain the program.

What is a brownfields site?
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 Squaxin Island Tribe by bringing jobs to the area, making abandoned property functional, and possibly preserving sites that have historic and cultural significance. For more information about brownfields sites, visit U.S. EPA, Brownfields


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
Environmental assessments
  • 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
  • Update annually, or more often if appropriate
  • Include site locations, responses, and future plans
Public participation
  • 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

Brownfields sites can potentially include:

  • Abandoned warehouses and industrial properties
  • Old buildings, factories, gas stations
  • Open/illegal dumping (particularly involving hazardous wastes such as gas, oil, pesticides, paints, etc).
  • Drug labs: Materials found at these sites are extremely hazardous; don’t investigate yourself. If you suspect a drug lab in operation or discover a location you suspect might be a former drug lab, call the police immediately.
  • Above-ground or underground fuel storage tanks that are abandoned or suspected to be leaking

A brownfields site is not:

  • A site that the owner is liable for contamination and that is being used as an open dump
  • A site where a removal action or cleanup by another organization or agency has occurred or is occurring

Report a brownsfields site
The Squaxin Island Brownfields TRP can only investigate what it knows about. For this reason, input from the community is crucial. We encourage any information you can provide about potential brownfield sites on the reservation as well comments on sites we are currently working with. Contact the Squaxin Island Department of Natural Resouces with your questions, suggestions, or comments.