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News Releases from Region 08

EPA provides $200K to advance the cleanup and revitalization of mine-impacted properties in Creede, Colorado

Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA: Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)
U.S. EPA: Danny Heffernan (Heffernan.daniel@epa.gov)
Lower Willow Creek Restoration Company: Guinevere Nelson Freer (guineverenelson@gmail.com)

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) today awarded the Lower Willow Creek Restoration Company $200K in Brownfields grant funding to clean up mine-impacted sites along Lower Willow Creek in Creede, Colorado. 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 Lower Willow Creek Restoration Company will use the EPA Brownfields grant to cap and remove contamination in a target area known as the Floodplain Property, a highly visible site composed of alluvial rock and devoid of vegetation due to high concentrations of metals related to former mine waste processing activities at the site. Primary contaminants of concern include arsenic, lead and zinc. The effort to cap and re-vegetate the impacted area with a layer of clean soil will reduce the risk of wind-borne metals blowing into nearby areas and improve groundwater and water quality in Willow Creek. The results of the cleanup will improve the floodplain habitat and reduce exposure risks to nearby businesses, residents and recreational users.

"EPA Brownfields grants are helping communities like Creede address environmental risks and improve the quality of important local water resources," said EPA regional administrator, Shaun McGrath. "These types of investments not only address contamination, they also 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