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. Often the potential liability associated with contamination complicates business development, property transactions or expansion on the property. By investigating and cleaning up a brownfields property and taking care of the site's possible health or environmental risks, communities can use local land again producing jobs, increasing the tax base or adding other benefits such as creating a park or residential area.

Every city and county, in both rural and urban areas, has abandoned, underutilized, and potentially contaminated properties. The Brownfields Program currently has programs available to assist with the redevelopment of brownfields.

The South Dakota Brownfields Program is part of the larger DANR Inspection, Compliance, and Remediation Program. Under South Dakota Codified Law, a wide variety of substances have been defined as "regulated substances." When a regulated substance contaminates the environment, the spill/release must be reported to DANR. DANR oversees and requires remediation of spill/release/contaminated sites and DANR staff review all work to ensure cleanup meets applicable state and federal criteria. For more information, see the DANR Spills Reporting webpage. And for a list of all known environmental events, please refer to our "Tanks, Spills, and Environmental Events" online map and database.

For more information on the Federal Brownfields Program, visit EPA's web site

Brownfields pilots and assessment projects

South Dakota has had several Brownfields pilots and assessment projects over the years beginning with the City of Sioux Falls Brownfields Pilot in 1996. These sites are listed chronologically and the links will take you to sites with additional information.

Phillips to the Falls - City of Sioux Falls


Several organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Brownfields Program maintains web sites designed to provide assistance and information to local government and the public about the Brownfields Program.

Housing and Urban Development

Educational Institutions

Targeted Brownfields Assessment Grants

The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has received its first Targeted Brownfields Assessment grant from the EPA in October, 2002. This grant can be used by the department for environmental assessment activities at Brownfield sites. These assessment activities include environmental activities preliminary prior to cleanup such as

  • Site Assessment
  • site characterization and site response, or
  • cleanup planning and design for areas that have an actual or threatened release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

Brownfield assessment funds may only be used at sites where there is release, or substantial threat of release, of a hazardous substance, or there is a release, or substantial threat of release, of a pollutant or contaminant which that may present an imminent and substantial danger to public health or welfare. The Cities, counties or local development groups may apply for assistance. County commission chairs, mayors and town presidents, and county emergency management officials, have received a letter informing them of the availability of these grants.

DANR's Inspection, Compliance & Remediation Program administers the Brownfields Program. The Brownfields Program is application based. The application identifies the minimum requirements for a single potential Brownfields site. There are no limits on the number of sites that may be submitted for consideration; however, there is a limit on funds available to the Program. Applicants submitting more than one site are asked to prioritize the applications based on local importance for redevelopment. Application guidance is available.

Sites will be prioritized should the number and potential assessment costs for all sites submitted exceed available funds. The SD Brownfields program envisions that factors such as level of contamination and community commitment toward cleanup and redevelopment will be considered during prioritization.

For more information on the Federal Brownfields Program, visit

Toolbox for Community Redevelopment

The ASTSWMO Brownfields Focus Group has updated the toolbox that was produced by the Focus Group in 2007. This toolbox reflects on new procedures, information and resources in community redevelopment, and it will help communities redevelop brownfield properties, and provide the basics needed to navigate the redevelopment process and access resources to assist with revitalization efforts. The PDF version of the toolbox is ready to use as is and the Word version is provided to programs so that they may tailor the toolbox to program needs.

Toolbox (PDF Download)