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Hickenlooper, Bennet, Caraveo Welcome Over $8M to Address Pollution, Revitalize Communities

May 20, 2024

Pueblo, Greeley, Kersey, Lakewood, Monte Vista, Northglenn, awarded Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grants to clean contaminated properties, create healthier communities

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet and Representative Yadira Caraveo welcomed over $8 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for six projects in Colorado to help clean up once-polluted and abandoned properties. The investments are awarded through the EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Programs which received funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help transform abandoned properties and spur economic revitalization.

“Contaminated properties – like abandoned buildings with polluted soil – stifle development because of the environmental and health risks to surrounding communities,” said Hickenlooper. “These Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grants will help safely revitalize these sites and open the door for more community investments.”

“In the wealthiest nation in the world, every family should be able to live in a clean environment,” said Bennet. “This funding will rightfully support Colorado communities disproportionately affected by contamination. These grants will help Colorado communities safely clean up polluted sites, protect their health, and rebuild in a way that creates jobs and economic opportunity.”

“As the first Representative for the 8th district, I’m fighting for every corner of the Front Range and Northern Colorado to get their fair share of federal funding,” said Caraveo. “Today, we took a significant step in the right direction with major federal investments in Greeley, Northglenn, and Kersey. The more than $4.3 million federal grant announced by the EPA this morning will go toward cleaning up toxic sites and laying the groundwork for economic renewal at sites that have been abandoned or left in disrepair, positioning our communities for future economic success.”

“EPA’s Brownfields grants are helping community leaders revitalize downtown areas through the transformation of blighted properties,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “Today’s funding will help reclaim contaminated buildings, soil, water and outdoor spaces and create new economic opportunities in Greeley and Kersey.” 

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Congress passed in 2021, allocated $1.5 billion for the EPA’s Brownfields Program and has helped increase yearly investments by nearly 400 percent.

The Brownfields Program helps advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are overburdened by pollution. Approximately 86% of the MAC and RLF Supplemental program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include disadvantaged communities.

The Colorado projects selected include:

  • City of Greeley 
    • Award amount: $500,000
    • Description: Grants will be used to conduct environmental site assessments in the Central Downtown area, University Uptown area, and Railway District. Priority sites include a former hotel, a funeral home, a former auto repair and storage business, a trucking repair facility, a former elevator, and a former oil and gas storage facility. Grant funds also will be used to identify and prioritize additional sites, prepare four cleanup plans and one visioning plan, and support community engagement activities.
  • Town of Kersey:
    • Award amount: $1,132,899
    • Description: Grant funds will be used to clean up the Town’s Grain Elevator Property located at 501 1st Street. The 2-acre cleanup site was historically used for grain processing, storage, and sales of agricultural feed and supplies until approximately 2000. It has been vacant ever since then and is contaminated with inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community engagement activities.
  • Metro West Housing Solutions (MWHS) in Lakewood:
    • Award amount: $500,000
    • Description: Grant funds will be used to clean up the Belmar Groves Apartments located at 259 S. Teller Street in the City of Lakewood. In 2004, MWHS purchased the property and converted it into income-restricted affordable rental housing and plans to use a staggered cleanup approach to avoid displacing residents by temporarily relocating them to other apartments in the complex. The buildings are contaminated with heavy metals and inorganic contaminants.
  • City of Monte Vista:
    • Award amount: $1,000,000 
    • Description: Grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and to conduct reuse, cleanup, and community engagement activities for sites in the city’s Main Street Corridor. Grant funds also will be used to clean up either the historic 34,000-square-foot Monte Vista City Hall at 95 West First Street or a 3,120-square-foot commercial property at 117 Adams Street.
  • City of Northglenn:
    • Award amount: $2,750,000
    • Description: Grant funds will be used to clean up the Former Northglenn Recreation Center located at 11801 Community Center Drive. The 6.9-acre cleanup site first operated as an agricultural property and then as an at-grade reservoir. In 1973, the site was acquired by the city and was redeveloped into the city’s recreation center, which closed in 2021 when a new recreation facility was built nearby. Soils on the site are contaminated with heavy metals.
  • City of Pueblo:
    • Award amount: $1,000,000 
    • Description: Grant funds will be used to conduct  environmental site assessments, prepare an inventory of brownfield sites, and conduct cleanup and reuse planning and community engagement activities in Y Zone consisting of the Downtown, Eastside, and Bessmer neighborhoods. Grant funds also will be used to clean up the El Centro Del Quinto Sol Community Center at 609 East Sixth Street, which operated as the Fountain School beginning in 1904. The site is contaminated with inorganic contaminants. Additional priority sites include the Steelworks Museum of the West at 225 Canal Street, the Black Hills 5 and 6 Power Plant at 105 South Victoria Street, and 11 small parcels located in downtown Pueblo.

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program click HERE.


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