EPA grants promote development on Blackfeet, Rocky Boy Reservations and surrounding communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded two $500,000 grants to corporations serving the Blackfeet Nation, Chippewa Cree Tribe and surrounding cities.

The Bear Paw Development Corporation will use funds to examine environmental contamination in Havre and Box Elder.

The Bullhook Community Health Center, a medical clinic in Havre, recently purchased vacant homes in the area to expand services. Grant funds will specifically be used to assess the presence of lead and asbestos before demolition and expansion of the center, according to a news release. The expansion is expected to create about 15 jobs.

Funds will also help the Havre Senior Center assess the presence of petroleum prior to expansion.

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Women are currently unable to serve in the Havre Fire Department because the building does not have a women’s locker room or dorm. The department has wanted to convert an unused shooting range for those purposes, but investigations revealed asbestos and lead. EPA funds will be used for extensive cleanup planning.

Hill County owns an old landfill in Box Elder, and local leaders want to use the site for a solar farm to reduce energy costs for reservation residents. Grant funding

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