2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Nov 2003 22:27:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Federal Center site faces huge cleanup
Federal Center site faces huge cleanup
Officials still trying to determine extent of contamination
By Ann Imse
November 17, 2003

The Denver Federal Center in Lakewood seems a sleepy campus of office
buildings surrounded by lawns, trees and ponds, and flush with rabbits
and geese.

But beneath the bucolic appearance lie old cyanide pipelines, the
remains of an industrial waste plant and groundwater fouled by solvent.
Asbestos-covered pipes that once carried steam heat to each building
still crisscross the site.

So a congressional proposal to open up the Denver Federal Center to
private developers faces a huge hurdle: cleanup of the environment.

Health officials are conducting extensive studies into contamination at
the Federal Center, which was a munitions plant during World War II and
later replaced by government laboratories that conducted countless
science experiments there.

The federal government already has spent nine years and $12 million
trying to identify all of the environmental problems on the square-mile
site south of Sixth Avenue and west of Kipling Street, said Cara Hoevet,
spokeswoman for the U.S. General Services Administration, which runs the
federal center. But a state health official said it will be five more
years before the studies are complete and the full extent of
contamination known.

Another $15 million has been spent on cleaning up the only urgent health
risk found so far: the leakage of 350 gallons of the solvent TCA into
the groundwater. Any other significant problems found will be addressed
immediately, said Howard Roitman, head of the hazardous materials
section of the state health department.

Today, 6,000 people work in 77 buildings at the federal center, but
one-third of the land is undeveloped. Another 15 to 20 buildings are
empty, unusable and slated for demolition.

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