Lowry Environmental Program
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.
The Air Force conducted the first environmental investigations at
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.
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
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
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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