Brownfields

Site Re-use & Revitalization Program

In May 2014 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) selected Lake County for grant funding in the amount of $400,000 ($200,000 for Hazardous Substances and $200,000 for Petroleum Substances), under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfield Revitalization Act, for the assessment of brownfield sites in the community. In August 2014 the County entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the US EPA to receive the grant funding.

Brownfields

Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

The boom and bust cycles of more than 140 years of mining and smelting operations, and population decline of more than 80%, have resulted in a staggering number of brownfield sites and a significant degree of environmental impacts throughout Lake County. An estimated 3,500-5,000 abandoned mines remain in the County. Scarred landscapes, mammoth tailings piles, and dangerous mineshafts contribute to acid mine drainage, while an estimated 15 former smelters, associated with historic mining activities, are the source of the wide-spread deposits of heavy metals and other pollutants to soils and surface water. The Silver Boom brought railroads to the region, providing transportation for the ore and facilitating development of the mines. Now, abandoned rail yards sit idle. These sites contribute to blight in key areas, while hazards from rail tracks, depots, car maintenance facilities, and fueling stations threaten area residents and wildlife habitat.

Goals & Objectives

Assessment funding allows the County to develop a comprehensive brownfields program to examine sites and put brownfield parcels back into productive use. To address the exceptionally high levels of economic distress, the County will endeavor to stimulate private investment and job creation through development projects on brownfield sites. The project will target areas in and around Leadville’s business and residential districts, with programmatic flexibility to include other sites throughout the County in response to opportunities, which are in alignment with established community goals.

Documents

    Site Re-use & Revitalization Program Fact Sheet  Click Here

    Brownfield Advisory Committee Meeting Presentation

    Site Nomination/Application Form Click Here

Coummunity Member Fact Sheet Click Here

Property Owner Fact Sheet Click Here

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