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ICYMI: Administrator Wheeler Visits Western States, Reaffirms President Trump’s Commitment to Reducing Regulatory Burdens and Revitalizing Communities

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WASHINGTON (July 28, 2020) This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Associate Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento, and Regional Administrator Greg Sopkin visited the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado to meet with community leaders, farmers, and EPA staff, touring several EPA Brownfields and Superfund sites to see progress being made.

Administrator Wheeler kicked off his Western states swing in Wyoming, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, taking an important step forward towards establishing a robust domestic uranium mining industry and supporting national security interests of the United States. The MOU outlines how EPA and NRC will work to accomplish our respective responsibilities under Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 to protect public health, safety and the environment from radiological and non-radiological hazards.

Following a meeting with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Administrator Wheeler toured the Sherard Water Treatment Plant, which supplies potable water for the city of Cheyenne. They also visited an adjacent groundwater treatment plant that uses air filtration technology to remove TCE to non-detectable levels in the city's drinking water. 

Administrator Wheeler meets with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

Administrator Wheeler tours the Sherard Water Treatment Plant, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Administrator Wheeler continued his visit in the State of Montana with a series of events in Kalispell, focusing on EPA’s Brownfields program with U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.

VIA KPAX News: EPA Administrator visits Brownfields sites in Kalispell

Watch here

Administrator Wheeler, Senator Steve Daines, and Attorney General Fox visit a Brownfields grant recipient in Kalispell.

While in Kalispell, Mont., Administrator Wheeler, Senator Daines, and Attorney General Tim Fox toured a number of Brownfields sites including the Glacier Rail Park, SunRift Restaurant, former CHS Country Store, and former CHS Agronomy Center. Redevelopment of this site is just the latest sign that the ambitious Kalispell Core & Rail Redevelopment Plan is resulting in land-use changes and improvements that are more commensurate with the surrounding community.

Administrator Wheeler finished the day at the Montana State University (MSU) Northwestern Agricultural Research Center meeting with local farmers and seeing ongoing research on crop science. While at the MSU Agriculture Research Center, Administrator Wheeler and Attorney General Fox discussed important issues including the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and water reuse with representatives from the research center, the Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Grain Growers Association, CHS Mountain West Co-Op, and Future Farmers of America students from Glacier High School. 

Administrator Wheeler, Regional Administrator Sopkin, and Attorney General Fox with FFA students at the Montana State University’s Northwestern Agricultural Research Center.

Finally, Administrator Wheeler concluded his Western states swing in Pueblo, Colo., with a tour of the Colorado Smelter Superfund Site. While at the site, Administrator Wheeler saw firsthand the tremendous cleanup progress being made since accelerated cleanup funding was awarded to reduce public exposure to lead and other hazardous substances. Additionally, the Administrator visited with local officials to learn about and discuss revitalization efforts focused on the impacted neighborhoods.

Administrator Wheeler held a press conference in Pueblo, Colo. on the progress at the site:

“We are here to help, together we can get this community and these neighborhoods where they need to be,” said Wheeler. “The most important facet of this project is the children that play in the yards and the home in the surrounding community.”

Watch the full video here

Administrator Wheeler visits a community near the Colorado Smelter Superfund site.