Golden’s Gateway Station development gets boost from EPA
The Golden Urban Renewal Authority received a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today for the Gateway Station project in Golden, Colo. The grant will fund a critical groundwater treatment system that will pave the way for the completion of the $25 million mixed-use redevelopment in the city’s business district.
“EPA is pleased to help advance this effort to bring economic vitality into the heart of historic downtown Golden,” said EPA’s regional administrator, Robert E. Roberts. “The Brownfields program is about leveraging cleanup resources to achieve community revitalization goals, and this project offers a textbook example.”
Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
The EPA grant will help clean up tetrachloroethylene (commonly known as PCE) contamination in the groundwater underlying the now abandoned site of a former dry cleaning operation. Specifically, EPA’s contribution will provide for the installation and operation of a series of injection and sampling wells that will enable an on-site treatment of groundwater called “enhanced reductive chlorination,” or ERD. This innovative technique calls for the use of wells to deliver a solution made up of “brewers residual liquid” donated by Coors Brewing Company. This liquid is injected into groundwater to begin a chemical process to neutralize the PCE. GURA will sample and test the success of this remedy over time and will conduct additional air and water sampling to ensure that the cleanup is effective.
This cleanup activity will enable the development of Gateway Station, a mixed-use redevelopment that will create 34 new residential units, 16,000 square feet of commercial space, and 11,000 square feet of office space and will increase annual tax revenues by an estimated $380,000. Construction of Gateway Station is proceeding, with project completion expected in the Spring of 2008.
“It has taken nearly 30 years and many tries to redevelop this site,” said Mark Heller, Executive Director of the Golden Urban Renewal Authority. “Through the help of partners such as EPA, this site, long an eyesore, will soon be a dynamic new contributor to the vitality of downtown Golden.”
The Gateway Station Brownfields project is one of 294 in 38 states, two territories and five tribal nations that will share more than $70 million in EPA Brownfields grants. This funding will help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.
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.
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.
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