Denver, Colorado -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a Brownfields grant has been awarded to the City of Loveland for remediation of the “Leslie the Cleaner” property located at 301 N. Lincoln Avenue. The funds will be used to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the site once the City has purchased and demolished the current structure.
The total funding for the purchase, cleanup, and demolition of the property is estimated to be $555,800. Of that total, $313,000 will be provided through Colorado’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund which will be used to clean up the property. In 2009, the City of Loveland completed an assessment the site and discovered contamination from dry cleaning operations that operated on the property for several decades.
“The thorough cleanup of this property is a critical step towards building a vibrant downtown in Loveland,” said EPA’s Brownfields coordinator in Denver, Dan Heffernan. “Dry cleaning chemicals are very toxic. This grant will set the stage for a redevelopment project that will create jobs and a cleaner, safer downtown.”
The redevelopment of the former dry cleaning property and adjacent parcels are part of a major downtown revitalization effort that will include new parking, retail, office and residential space. The revitalization plan was completed with the support of the Loveland City Council and the Loveland Downtown Team, which is comprised of community members, building owners, and merchants.
The purpose of the Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund is to facilitate the reuse and/or redevelopment of contaminated sites (also called Brownfields) by making low-cost funding available for financing environmental cleanups. The State’s fund is supported through EPA grants. Brownfields are defined as abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
EPA’s Brownfields grants are used to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties like deserted gas stations or closed smelters. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. These investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation.
Since its inception, EPA’s Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 70,000 jobs. Brownfields grants also target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.