The EPA awards $800,000 to support the cleanup and redevelopment of properties in Cañon City, Colorado
EPA Brownfields grant to catalyze economic revitalization along Arkansas Riverfront and Downtown Main Street corridors
Cañon City, Colo. (May 19, 2021) -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the City of Cañon City, Colorado, will receive a $800,000 Brownfields multipurpose grant to advance the cleanup and revitalization of properties along the Arkansas Riverfront and the Downtown Main Street corridors.
The City of Cañon City is among 151 communities nationwide selected to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant programs. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in, or serving, small communities.
“EPA is pleased to support the City of Cañon City’s plans to revitalize waterfront and downtown properties,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “This is an important step in providing far-reaching and lasting environmental, economic and recreational opportunities within the community.”
“The City of Cañon City is humbled and honored to be one of only 11 communities throughout the United States to be awarded an EPA Multipurpose Brownfield grant. This funding will be a huge step toward bringing new life and vibrancy to parts of our community that are difficult, if not impossible, to redevelop because of historic industry and environmental contamination,” said City of Cañon City Mayor Ashley Smith. “Thank you, EPA, for selecting Cañon City for this $800,000 opportunity to turn blight into future developments. We greatly appreciate your partnership and support!”
The City will use the EPA Brownfields grant to inventory and prioritize sites and conduct environmental site assessments at up to 18 properties. Grant funds also will be used to develop reuse and cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
Assessment activities will target priority sites, including the 2-acre Skyline Steel property, the Acorn Petroleum property, the 20,000 square foot Reddy Ice Plant in the Riverfront area and the New Method Laundry site in the downtown area. Contaminants of Concern at these sites include heavy metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Since the late 1990s, with significant momentum beginning in 2015, the City has been exploring opportunities for waterfront redevelopment, with plans focusing on increasing recreational amenities and the economic and recreational connection to downtown. This multipurpose grant will help Cañon City redevelop its waterfront into a thriving destination with retail, housing and hotels that connect to trails and the historic downtown core.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields