Letter – June 7

The Department of Environmental Quality Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) would like to present a short article describing one of the VRP’s most historically interesting sites, Old Stoney. The VRP is a risk-based, voluntary cleanup program that allows some flexibility in environmental cleanup options, while still providing conservative decisions that protect human health and the environment in Wyoming.
As many Sundance citizens are aware, Old Stoney was an active school building from 1923-1971. It was accepted on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and accepted into the VRP in 2008. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Rocky Courchaine and Martha Keith of the Crook County Museum District, Old Stoney was awarded an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant in 2010, making this site the first in the State of Wyoming to ever be awarded such a grant. Grant recipients are required to perform a variety of tasks, comply with many state and federal requirements, and demonstrate the success of their project. All these activities are very detail oriented, and can be very time-consuming.
The VRP believes that cleaning up contamination, whether in a building or in an open space far from any town, is a worth-while goal and should be commended. When existing buildings are abandoned and unused, they can contribute to lower property values, development of wild areas (including new roads, electrical lines, water and sewer infrastructure, all of which are very expensive) that could otherwise be conserved, and loss of places that are historically valuable, or just dear to the hearts of many in the community.
As the Old Stoney cleanup reaches a successful conclusion, the VRP would like to take this opportunity to recognize the citizens of Sundance, and especially the Crook County Museum District, for all the dedication, commitment and patience it takes to see a project of this magnitude through to a successful end. As an updated multi-functional historical building, Old Stoney will bridge past, present, and future, and give the residents of Crook County a wonderful community center to enjoy for many years.
If anyone has questions about the Old Stoney project, or the VRP in general, please contact Cindi Martinez at 307-777-2948, or by email at cindi.martinez@wyo.gov.
Cindi Martinez
Department of Environmental Quality Voluntary Remediation Program