The site was a former tuberculosis sanitarium, later converted to be the State hospital. The property was acquired in 1992 by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The medical complex buildings are abandoned and in a state of great disrepair. Building #9 is collapsing and is structurally unsound. Numerous building materials in Building #9 have friable asbestos. The release of asbestos from the facility poses an exposure threat to the nearby community.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct a
cleanup at Building #9 in the San Haven complex due to the presence of
asbestos-containing materials which are a threat to human health. EPA sampling and analysis showed that some
of the building materials contain asbestos, which requires special management
and disposal. The Tribe made a request
for an EPA cleanup in early 2021 when it was determined EPA had funding
available this year for the cleanup project.
The EPA Emergency Response Program and its asbestos-certified
cleanup contractors will begin cleanup on approximately September 23, 2021. The
cleanup is anticipated to take approximately five weeks. The cleanup contractors will wear special
protective clothing and respirators during the portion of the cleanup involving
asbestos. The asbestos-contaminated
debris will be wetted down with water prior to and during the cleanup to ensure
that no asbestos fibers migrate from the debris piles. The safety of the public is the highest
priority. All debris will be transported
for disposal to an approved landfill.
Please try to avoid the area during the cleanup as there
will be a considerable amount of truck traffic and movement of heavy
equipment. The site will be kept safe
with security guards when the cleanup crew is not present at the site.
The Tribe received a Brownfields grant to address demolition
and cleanup of some of the other buildings in the San Haven complex, which also
have asbestos-containing materials.