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City of Lakewood, Denver's Park Hill neighborhood awarded EPA Brownfields grants

Release Date: 5/10/2005
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      Denver -- Revitalization efforts in Denver and Lakewood, Colo. were given a big boost today as EPA awarded $200,000 to Parkhill Community, Inc., and $400,000 to the City of Lakewood for environmental assessment and cleanup activities.
Denver's Park Hill neighborhood and the City of Lakewood are among communities in 44 states that will share more than $75 million in EPA Brownfields grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from eyesores into community assets.

EPA is awarding Parkhill Community, Inc., a nonprofit organization, with a $200,000 grant to clean up contaminants associated with a former landfill and dry cleaning businesses at the blighted Dahlia Square Shopping Center site. The grant will help the community close the financial gap created by environmental contaminants and will allow the community to proceed with plans to sell the property for redevelopment into a mix of attached residential units, senior housing and commercial and civic facilities. Community members have been trying to redevelop Dahlia Square, once the heart of the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood, for nearly 20 years. The site is viewed by area residents and city officials as a detriment to both the safety and economic viability of surrounding neighborhoods.
    EPA also selected the City of Lakewood for two Brownfields assessment grants totaling $400,000. These funds will allow the community to assess and develop cleanup plans for sites along the West Colfax Avenue corridor in preparation for Fastracks transit stations. The funds also will help the city address deteriorating industrial and commercial districts along the once prominent mile-wide transit corridor. The city plans to update the aging freight rail corridor with light rail, enabling redevelopment to occur at the same time the metro Denver region undertakes a major transportation upgrade.

    "These grants give local partnerships the ability to address environmental issues at sites that are being transformed into vital assets," said EPA Assistant Regional Administrator Max Dodson. "In addition to improving the environment, they are investments in the future that help communities achieve important economic redevelopment and social goals."
    Brownfields are sites where potentially harmful contaminants may be impeding revitalization. EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception in 1995, the program has awarded 709 assessment grants totaling over $190 million, 189 revolving loan fund grants for cleanup worth more than $165 million, and $26.8 million for 150 direct cleanup grants.

    In addition to grants being announced today, participants in the Brownfields program gain access to the expertise and resources from more than 20 federal agencies. Nationwide, there are four categories of grants being awarded with 218 applicants, including three tribal nations, selected to receive 302 grants totaling $75.9 million. These include:
    • 172 assessment grants, worth $33.6 million, to assess and plan for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfield sites;
    • 106 cleanup grants, totaling $19.3 million, for recipients to clean up brownfield sites they own;
    • 13 revolving loan fund grants, totaling $20.8 million, for communities to use to make low-interest loans for the cleanup of brownfield sites, and
    • 11 job-training grants, valued at $2.2 million, for environmental training of people who live in brownfield communities.

    Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas station sites to housing. EPA's Brownfields assistance has led to more than $7 billion in public and private investment in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 31,000 jobs, and resulted in the assessment of more than 5,100 properties.

    For detailed fact sheets on the individual grant recipients, visit:
    For more information on the Brownfields program:
    EPA is cosponsoring a National Brownfields Conference in Denver in November of 2005. For more information: