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esm223_18_Reading_Lowry_AFB_Brownfields_Redevelopment -...

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Lowry Environmental Program History Lowry is a former Air Force Base that operated for 57 years as a technical training center. Past activities at the former base included: • Flight training and aircraft maintenance, • Aerial photograph imaging and interpretation, • Fire fighter training, • Technical training on a variety of missile and weapon systems, • Classroom instruction, • Student and family housing, and • Office-type administration. Fuels and chemicals were stored and used to support these training activities, and disposal of these liquids was conducted in the same way that many industries handled similar wastes. In 1994, the Air Force Base closed, and the Lowry Redevelopment Authority began redeveloping the former base. Environmental investigations The Air Force conducted the first environmental investigations at Lowry in 1983. Since then, and with the funding committed in the 2005 privatization, the Air Force has spent more than $100 million to identify, evaluate and remediate environmental contaminants. At Lowry most of the environmental areas of concern have been identified, investigated and are in various phases of clean-up. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) along with the cities of Denver and Aurora and the Environmental Protection Agency continue to oversee this work. Land is developed and sold at Lowry only after the CDPHE and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have commented that it is suitable for transfer based on the environmental condition of the property. Cleanup Status Properties already developed at Lowry were reviewed and approved by the CDPHE and EPA for their environmental condition, and were found to be suitable for reuse. In August 2002, the Air Force began to privatize most of the environmental cleanup efforts, turning management over to the Lowry Redevelopment Authority (LRA) and its contractor Lowry Assumption, LLC. In 2005, this process was expanded with agreements to privatize the remaining soil projects. While the Air Force maintains ultimate liability for the cleanup, the LRA is managing the remediation. Several well-documented groundwater plumes exist at Lowry. None are in drinking water; Lowry’s drinking water comes from surface water reservoirs replenished annually by high mountain snowmelt. During the first three years of privatization, a program to clean up the groundwater plumes has been implemented, and the former base landfill has been closed. Under the scope of the expanded privatized cleanup, soils cleanup has been completed near First Avenue and Dayton Street in the area formerly used for an outdoor firing range, and soil removal has been completed at the fire training zone. The LRA and several homebuilders have removed soil containing asbestos in the Northwest Neighborhood, and additional asbestos sampling and removal has been completed near Eleventh Avenue and Uinta Way.
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