Public-Private Partnerships and Funding Integral to Address Former Dry Cleaner Solvent Contamination

Golden Urban Renewal Authority – Golden, CO

Public-Private Partnerships and Funding Integral to Address Former Dry Cleaner Solvent Contamination, Revitalizing Downtown Golden through Gateway Station Mixed-Use Development

Through a unique private-public partnership, Weaver Consultants Group’s (WCG) Remediation Services team supported the Golden Urban Renewal Authority (GURA) with design, financing, securing future developers, and turnkey soil and groundwater remediation services to facilitate redevelopment of a former dry cleaner (Site) in Golden, Colorado. The property, prime real estate in the heart of downtown Golden, was proposed for redevelopment as Golden’s Gateway Station of mixed residential and commercial use, including a parking garage. Tetrachloroethene (PCE) contamination, along with its degradation products, was identified within subsurface soil and groundwater near the center of the proposed redevelopment eliminating the opportunity to utilize traditional funding sources. Through design, communication, and unique regulatory strategies, GURA, WCG, and the commercial and residential developers were able to work together to create a highly successful mixed-use development.

To support redevelopment, WCG developed client-focused and cost-effective solutions to address PCE impacts within vadose zone soil and groundwater, working with the City of Golden Public Works (City of Golden) and Coors Brewing Company (Coors). WCG personnel also assisted GURA with preparing loan and grant applications for the Colorado Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund (BRLF) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Brownfield Grant program. GURA successfully obtained a $280,000 BRLF loan and a $200,000 EPA Brownfield Grant.

The remediation program was completed under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Voluntary Clean-Up and Redevelopment Program (VCUP). WCG developed multiple Voluntary Clean-Up Plans to address PCE contamination through:

  • A Materials Management Plan and oversight of soil excavation activities to identify, handle, and manage any potentially contaminated soils onsite.
  • Design and installation of a Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) system to allow for non-hazardous disposal from those areas requiring excavation for the construction of condos and a parking garage. A large portion of the SVE system was constructed by the City under WCG oversight and utilizing equipment donated by Coors.
  • Development and implementation of an in-situ Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (ERD) treatment program utilizing spent brewer’s solution donated by Coors.

WCG has multiple award-winning brownfield development experiences working with national developers to create unique revitalization solutions for environmentally impaired US properties and a reputation for partnering with regulatory stakeholders. WCG capitalized on its experience and teamed up with GURA, Coors, City of Golden, CDPHE, and impacted offsite properties to develop a synergistic remedial program focused on facilitating future redevelopment. Key actions included:

  • Meeting with key stakeholders to understand respective goals and challenges and present alternative concepts, limitations, and approaches required to maintain the value proposition.
  • Indoor air sampling and assessment of potential indoor air risks associated with vapor intrusion at a downgradient Wells Fargo wire transfer facility.
  • Negotiating placement of groundwater point of compliance wells on the Wells Fargo wire transfer facility and successfully completing drilling near a critical fiber optic line without disturbance.
  • Developing and negotiating a unique regulatory solution to expedite regulatory closure of uncontaminated portions of the property to support the utilization of traditional funding sources.
  • Development of innovative approaches to reduce costs through coordination with outside entities for the following:
    • Coordination with the developer and their contractor to allow for completion of groundwater remedial activities concurrently with the construction activities.
    • Utilization of SVE equipment donated by Coors.
    • Coordination with the City of Golden to install SVE conveyance lines to further reduce system installation costs.
    • Development and negotiation of an agreement with Coors and USEPA to use spent brewer’s solution as the carbohydrate source for the ERD program.

PCE concentrations in soil were successfully reduced to below the residential soil reuse standards, meeting the developer’s end-use goals. The ERD treatment technology effectively reduced PCE concentrations in groundwater to near or below the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) within 18 months without delay in the development schedule. The ERD remediation has been completed following two years of monitoring and official closure received via a No Action Determination request from CDPHE. Golden’s Gateway Station of mixed residential and commercial properties continues to thrive, creating sustainable jobs and housing through investing in complex projects and encouraging urbanity and quality of life.