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EPA grant to boost revitalization at 10th and Osage in Denver

Release Date: 05/14/2007
Contact Information: Dan Heffernan, 303 312-6654, heffernan.daniel@epa.gov; Richard Mylott, 303 312-6654, mylott.richard@epa.gov

Brownfields cleanup grant will make way for transit-oriented redevelopment in Denver's La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood


      (Denver, Colo. -- May 14, 2007) A project to clean up contaminated property at 10th and Osage Street in Denver has been awarded a $200,000 EPA Brownfields cleanup grant. This project is one of 294 in 38 states, two territories and five tribal nations that will share more than $70 million in Brownfields grants. This funding will help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“By transforming thousands of blighted sites into engines of economic rebirth, EPA’s Brownfields program is proving to be one of the greatest environmental success stories of the past decade,” said Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “These grants build on the Bush Administration’s commitment of handing down a healthier, more prosperous future to the next generation of Americans.”

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes annual funding for Brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of brownfields, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

The City and County of Denver will receive a Brownfields cleanup grant for a 2.5-acre parcel at 10th and Osage Street. The site is currently contaminated with arsenic and polycrilic aromatic hydrocarbons from former railroad operations. Located in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood, the property is adjacent to 270 affordable housing units owned by the Denver Housing Authority and a light rail station. Cleanup of the site will allow Denver to move forward with plans to create a transit-oriented development center in this low-income neighborhood. This redevelopment is expected to increase economic activity in the neighborhood, bringing new jobs to the community and increasing the tax base.

This year, 202 applicants were selected to receive 294 assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants. The $70.7 total million will provide:
189 assessment grants totaling $36.8 million to be used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfields sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
92 cleanup grants totaling $17.9 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites they own.
13 revolving loan fund grants totaling $16 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low interest loans for brownfields cleanups.

The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing. EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,029 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 10,504 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties.

Information on the grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields