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Alamosa (Colo.) receives $200K for cleanup of Pink Elephant property

Release Date: 05/08/2013
Contact Information: U.S. EPA: Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654; Alamosa County: Randy Wright, 719-580-1642

(Denver. Colorado—May 8, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Alamosa County Economic Development Corporation as the recipient of a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant which will be used to remove contamination at the former Pink Elephant property located at 523, 525, 527, and 529 Sixth Street, and 520 and 524 State Avenue in the City of Alamosa. Today’s announcement is part of $62.5 million in EPA Brownfields funds awarded to 240 grant recipients across the nation to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties.

"EPA Brownfields grants open doors by helping communities like Alamosa transform blighted properties into public and economic assets," said EPA acting regional administrator, Howard Cantor. "These investments will address contamination and create new opportunities for people to live, play, and do business.”

Since the late 19th century, the Pink Elephant site has been used for a number of commercial and residential purposes, including a post office, jewelry store, candy store, tailor, and boarding house. Buildings at the site are contaminated with asbestos and lead, and their dilapidated state poses public safety concerns. Once cleanup is complete, the Alamosa County Economic Development Corporation will look to redevelop the site as a retail or restaurant business.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. Under EPA’s Brownfields program, more than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been cleaned up. EPA’s Brownfields investments have also leveraged more than $19 billion in overall cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources. On average $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. These investments resulted in approximately 87,000 jobs nationwide. When Brownfields are addressed, nearby property values can increase 2-3 percent.

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