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"Brownfields" grant to boost Arvada redevelopment

Release Date: 5/18/2000
Contact Information:
Kathie Atencio (303) 312-6803,

Release Date: 5/18/2000
Contact Information:
Todd Chaudry (303) 312-7074,

Release Date: 5/18/2000
Contact Information:
Nancy Mueller (303) 312-6602

      DENVER– Long-range plans to clean up and redevelop Arvada’s

      southeastern corner near I-76 got a $250,000 boost today in the form

      of an Environmental Protection Agency“ Brownfields assessment”

      grant announced by Vice President Gore in Washington.

      One of 56 grants totaling more than $12 million nationally, the money will allow Arvada to continue environmental audits, soil and groundwater sampling in the 1,065-acre project area and move to cleanup of selected parcels to support new industrial development and retain existing businesses in the area.

      Arvada hopes to create an attractive gateway to the city including a business park and open-space corridor. Portions of the site lie in Arvada, Adams County and Jefferson County so development of intergovernmental partnerships will be key to long-range success according to the City's application.

      The area contains a polluted groundwater plume, sand and gravel quarries that have been filled with refuse, former landfills, concrete operations, facilities that generate or handle hazardous wastes, pollution from septic tanks and other known or suspected problems.

      Brownfields grants themselves are part of the nation's Superfund Program which drives cleanups of hazardous waste sites. Brownfields are idled, abandoned or under-used industrial or business sites where redevelopment is complicated by possible contamination. Fears of liability and cleanup costs often thwart reuse plans. Development then goes elsewhere, leaving parcels behind to slide into blight.

      Many industrial areas have enough real or perceived contamination to discourage investment but not enough risk to make it onto the national list for priority cleanup. That's where Brownfields comes in. Over the last few years, the Agency has helped more than 300 communities to leverage nearly $1.9 billion to clean up and redevelop tainted properties, creating nearly 6,000 jobs in the process.

      Since 1998, EPA has also been authorized to extend parts of grants to parcels intended to become parks or open-space areas. Some $50,000 of the Arvada grant is tied to such "greenspace" and will go to improvements at Gold Site Park in the heart of the project area where a link to Ralston Creek and Clear Creek trails is being completed.

      Locally, Aurora received a grant under a “revolving loan fund” provision of Brownfields. These funds, $500,000, are seed money to attract other funds local jurisdictions can use to actually clean up sites identified under brownfields assessment programs.