Addressing any potential or perceived environmental issues can have significant impacts on the salability of a property. The assessments can help mitigate this by identifying whether environmental impacts exist or not, and if they do, to what degree. This information is vital for a property owner and a potential purchaser (developer) to come to a fair market value for the property. Absent this assessment, any educated purchaser will be extremely conservative and offer less than fair market value for the property.

Participation can determine if no impact exists, remove the negative stigma associated with it, and thereby increase the value of the property substantially. If an issue does exist, an environmental assessment under this program can provide liability protection, preliminary cleanup planning along with expected costs, and better enable lender support for redevelopment.

The process for cleanup or mitigation, if necessary, is highly dependent upon the results of the Phase 2 assessment and specific land use plans. Project specialists can assist property owners in determining what level of cleanup is required for their development and suggest cost efficient cleanup options as part of the Phase II assessment.

Participation in the voluntary environmental assessment portion of the Project is the first step. There are also many available resources for funding cleanup. If it’s determined that cleanup is necessary, the City will serve in an advisory capacity to assist participants. Typical funding sources include grants or loans available from:

  • The Colorado Office of Petroleum and Safety Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund
  • The Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (Area-Wide Planning Grants, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants)
  • US Department of Commerce (e.g., EDA Public Works and Economic Development Facilities Program, EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, SBA Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, SBA Section 7(a) Loan Program)
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Incentives
  • Colorado Environmental Remediation (Brownfield) State Income Tax Credits

Property taxes are based on the valuation of the property, which are appraised by the county every other year. A property tax increase would only occur if the value of the property increases. The benefits would include an increased sale price, community improvements (sidewalk, street, and other infrastructure improvements), an improved and revitalized neighborhood, increased business traffic, etc. The benefits from this project in part depend on participation by the community and success stories resulting from the project. The CO Brownfields Tax credit can be up to $525,000 depending on the cost of the cleanup and landowners can sell their tax credits for cash.

Although specific redevelopment opportunities do not necessarily need to be spelled out in detail before some work is performed under this project, a general plan for generating redevelopment opportunities is typically needed to obtain EPA approval to spend grant funds on assessment work. In addition, the City will seek to prioritize sites for funding under this project based on the site’s redevelopment potential and plans.

The answer to this question depends on the historical activities at the site, potential contaminant sources, and the types of contaminants. The project team has specialists who will consult with property owners to answer this question BEFORE testing is conducted. This way a property owner knows exactly what the ramifications are if indeed contaminations is found and helps them make an informed decision before authorizing testing on a site.

The Brownfield Assessment project is NOT a regulatory program. These projects are a mechanism/tool to promote economic development. EPA involvement is typically limited to review of work plans and general program oversight. The City does not have to submit ESA results to the EPA under this project.