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News Releases from Region 08

EPA provides $200K to Laramie Rivers Conservation District to advance the cleanup and revitalization of former industrial property along the Laramie River

Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA: Danny Heffernan (heffernan.daniel@epa.gov)
U.S. EPA: Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)
Laramie Rivers Conservation District: Anthony Hoch (tony.hoch@lrcd.net)

Funds part of $54 million to clean up and redevelop Brownfields sites across the country

(Denver, Colo. - May 28, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Laramie Rivers Conservation District $200K in Brownfields grant funding to clean up contamination at the former Laramie Yttrium plant and Midwest Refinery property in Laramie, Wyoming. Today's announcement is among 243 EPA grant investments totaling $54.3 million to 147 communities across the U.S. These grants will provide communities with funding necessary to assess, clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

The Laramie Rivers Conservation District will use the EPA Brownfields grant to remove contaminated soils at the former Laramie Yttrium plant and Midwest Refinery property located along the Laramie River on the west side of the city. This cleanup will reduce the migration of pollutants, including heavy metals, petroleum compounds, to groundwater, will improve the greenbelt and wetland areas in the river's floodplain, and will complement community improvement and redevelopment projects occurring in the City's West Side Corridor. Once cleanup is completed, part of the site will be redeveloped as office buildings for the Laramie Rivers Conservation District. Other potential plans for portions of the property include a recycling and exchange center for unused building materials and an arboretum.

"EPA Brownfields grants open doors by helping communities like Laramie transform blighted properties into public and economic assets," said EPA regional administrator, Shaun McGrath. "These types of investments address contamination, restore and reconnect communities to vital water resources, and create new opportunities for people to live, play, and do business."

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. EPA's Brownfields program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse these brownfields sites. Since the inception of the program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 105,942 jobs nationwide.

More information on Brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

More Brownfields information:
Program http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
Success Stories http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm