Lamar, La Junta and Huerfano Counties Awarded $1.5 million to Advance Environmental Cleanups


DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced southern Colorado communities will receive $1.5 million to advance the cleanup and revitalization of priority sites. Huerfano County Economic Development, the City of Lamar and the City of La Junta will each receive $500,000 to conduct community-wide Brownfields assessments.

“With this funding, southern Colorado communities will advance the cleanup of polluted sites, prioritizing community involvement in decision-making,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “I applaud Huerfano County, Lamar and La Junta for focusing on environmental cleanups and economic opportunities that benefit underserved community members.”

With the funding, the City of Lamar intends to conduct 24 environmental site assessments and develop five cleanup plans. Grant funds will be used to prepare a brownfield site inventory, conduct public meetings, provide outreach materials in Spanish, and provide Spanish language interpreters at public meetings. Priority sites include many up and down Main Street. This grant will continue the City’s successful work from a previous brownfields grant, which funded the assessment of the Troy Manor Motel, leading to its ultimate cleanup and demolition to prepare it for redevelopment.

“The City of Lamar is grateful for the opportunity to continue our efforts in conjunction with the EPA on our quest to help rid the city of hazardous and harmful toxins and waste. With the EPA’s help, Lamar has made great strides in assisting discoveries, cleaning up and planning for removal of hazardous structures and sites,” said Lamar City Administrator Robert Evans. “We are very humbled and pleased that we have been chosen to receive this grant and will keep up the good efforts moving forward for our citizens and our city with this new grant.”

Huerfano County Economic Development will use Brownfields assessment grant funds to conduct 17 environmental site assessments and prepare three reuse plans. These site assessments will examine current and historical uses of properties, and sample soil, water, air and building materials, to evaluate potential contamination, determine cleanup options, and initiate reuse planning. Grant funds will also be used to prepare a brownfields revitalization plan and a Community Involvement Plan, conduct meetings with site owners and potential developers, and conduct other community outreach activities. The target area for this grant is the Seventh Street/Highway 160 Brownfields Corridor, which includes sites within the City of Walsenburg’s downtown business district. Priority sites include the St. Mary’s campus, a former gas station, and a former youth camp previously used for agriculture.

“This grant will allow Huerfano County Economic Development to help our business community tackle Brownfield sites that have held back growth and development in our County for decades,” said Director of Economic Development Carlton Croft.

The City of La Junta plans to utilize Brownfields assessment grant funds to conduct 17 environmental site assessments and develop five cleanup plans. Grant funds will also be used to prepare an inventory of brownfield sites, develop a Community Involvement Plan, and conduct other community outreach activities. Grants funds will target the City’s downtown area, including a former auto repair shop, dry cleaners, metal shop, and a vacant school.

“The City of La Junta and Inspiration Field (IF) are grateful for this grant to help transform big blights in our city into productive buildings that will benefit not only the City, but also the region,” said La Junta City Manager Rick Klein. “We know that this will help the Developmentally Disabled community that IF serves.”

The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justive 40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of this announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas. EPA’s Brownfields grants and other technical assistance programs like the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative are also helping to build the clean energy economy.

Today’s announcement includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from fiscal year 2022 appropriations.

Contact Information-Barbara Khan (

May 12, 2022

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEmploymentEnvironmentFeaturedHealthMedia ReleasePublic SafetyUtilities


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