Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Environment and Natural Resources



Water Quality Improvements:
The Environmental Protection Agency is distributing funds for a range of infrastructure improvements for drinking and wastewater systems across Colorado. The 31 projects will begin in the fall of 2009 and are expected to create at least 300 jobs statewide.

  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund:  The Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority is distributing $31.3 million for work on 12 projects statewide. No less than 20% of the grant must be used for work that implements green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements or other environmentally innovative activities. Four percent of funds can be used for administration.
  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund:  The Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority is distributing $34.4 million to build and upgrade 19 drinking water systems statewide. This program also requires that no less than 20 percent of the grants go to projects that improve energy efficiency, green infrastructure and other ways to benefit the environment. Four percent of these funds can be used for administration.  
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has received $317,100 for Water Quality Management Planning. This grant supports a broad range of activities, such as setting standards, monitoring the quality of the water, developing plans to restore polluted waters, and identifying ways to protect healthy waters from becoming polluted.
    Contact: Steve Gunderson, Division Director, Water Quality Control Division, 303-692-3509;

Watershed Operations and Flood Prevention:
Colorado landowners are expected to receive $3.58 million to improve management strategies, erosion control, and irrigation systems applied on cropland and adjacent properties to the Arkansas River in the Beaver Creek, Highline Breaks, Holbrook Lake Ditch, Limestone-Graveyard Creeks, and Trinidad Lake North watersheds. An additional $614,234 will be used to purchase Colorado floodplain easements. This program is administered through the US Department of Agriculture.


Water Infrastructure Reliability and Safety:
The U.S. Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation is distributing $29 million to 10 Colorado projects that will replace and repair failed or failing equipment for hydroelectric generators and power plants.
For more information:


Diesel Emissions Reduction:
EPA is awarding $300 million nationally to replace, re-power and retrofit engines in school buses, heavy-duty trucks, agricultural vehicles, and construction vehicles. Four Colorado awards totalling $4.6 million have been announced:

  • Regional Air Quality Council grant: $1,020,144 and $250,000 in matching funds to install 100 auxiliary power units, 20 diesel oxidation catalysts, 56 fuel operated heaters, 44 thermal coolers, 10 full sets of SmartWay low rolling resistance tires, 20 SmartWay gap fairings, conduct on engine repower, and install on combination diesel oxidation catalyst and closed crankcase filter. An estimated 2,891.2 tons of pollutants will be removed annually from the air.
  • • State of Colorado grant: $1,730,000 to implement the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act in the State. It is estimated that over 350 school buses in Weld, El Paso, and Mesa Counties will be retrofitted with engine pre-heaters, diesel oxidation catalysts, and closed crankcase filtration units. An estimated 190.2 tons of pollution will be removed from the air annually.
  • CDPHE grant: $850,000 to provide a cost share opportunity to 180 individual long-haul truckers to purchase auxiliary power units or battery air conditioning systems for their vehicles. It is estimated that 1,435.9 tons of pollution will be removed from the air each year.
  • City and County of Denver grant: $700,000 will retrofit 9 snow plows with fuel operated cab heaters, 48 refuse vehicles with fuel operated hydraulics and cab heaters, and 53 heavy duty diesel vehicles with diesel oxidation catalysts, and closed crankcase filtration devices, and well as increase the use of biodiesel fuel. It is estimated that this project will remove 405.5 tons of pollution from the air each year.
    Contact: Paul Tourangeau, Air Pollution Control Division, 303-692-3114;


Leaking Underground Storage Cleanups:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has been allocated $2.5 million to clean up leaks from underground storage tanks. Funding will be used primarily for “shovel-ready” site assessment and cleanup activities at orphaned or abandoned sites, where the owners/operators of the sites are unknown or unable to pay. Contact: Gary Estenson,, 303-318-8035


Brownfield Cleanups:
The Recovery Act allocates $100 million nationally to the EPA Brownfields Program for cleanup, revitalization, and sustainable reuse of contaminated properties. The funds will be awarded to eligible entities through job training, assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants, and contractual assistance. Twenty-five percent of the funds must be used to address petroleum contamination. The EPA has announced two Colorado awards:

  • The city of Aurora is receiving $1.45 million in revolving loan funds to provide low-interest loans for cleanup projects in the urban renewal area surrounding the Fitzsimons medical and technology campus and in other redevelopment target areas.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment will use $1.35 million to provide cleanup grants that encourage the redevelopment of nearly a dozen properties throughout the state. Contact: Gary Baughman, Division Director, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division, 303-692-3338;


Superfund Site Cleanups:
The Environmental Protection Agency is providing funds for two Colorado projects to clean up Superfund sites.

  • Work has begun on constructing a foundation for a new water treatment plant at the Summitville Superfund site in southwest Colorado. The 1,600 gallons-per-minute water treatment plant will remove contaminants from acidic metals-contaminated mine drainage before the water leaves the site and enters the headwaters of the Alamosa River, which flows into the Rio Grande. When the plant is operational, all cleanup work at the Summitville Mine site will be complete. Moltz Construction is conducting the work with a $4.3 million contract.
  • Work has begun on mine waste pile capping near Central City at the Clear Creek/Central City Superfund site. Funds will accelerate the cleanup of the 400-square-mile Clear Creek watershed that is impacted by wastes from historic mining activities. Improvements will include the consolidation and capping of mine waste piles, sediment control and water treatment to mitigate heavy metals impacts to Clear Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. Work at the site will also reduce metals entering the watershed which supplies water to Denver-area residents. McCollum’s Excavating is conducting the work with a $1,138,000 contract.

All funds received by the state must be obligated within 12 months and 70 percent must be spent within two years of the EPA regional office receiving the funds. About 15 to 20 new construction jobs should be created for three construction seasons. Contact: Gary Baughman, Division Director, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division, 303-692-3338;


Forest Service, Capital Improvement and Maintenance:
The state expects to receive $28.6 million for the Forest Service, Capital Improvement and Maintenance program administered through the US Department of Agriculture. The Pike- San Isabel National Forest, Pawnee National Grassland, San Juan National Forest, Brainerd Lake Recreation Area, Rio Grande National Forest, Green Mountain Reservoir, Rainbow Lakes recreation area, Buckeye Reservoir recreation area, and several trailheads will receive funds for road and parking area maintenance, trail reconstruction, upgraded access to fishing piers to accommodate disabled anglers, and upgrades to campground facilities. These projects will provide jobs in road construction and maintenance trades in areas experiencing high rates of unemployment. Other projects include $1.5 million to Fort Collins Lab for energy efficient, functional laboratory space, $3.3 million for historic building restoration at 21 sites, and $458,000 to the Veterans Green Jobs Trail Project. Contact: Barb Timrock for the Pike-San Isabel National Forests, 719-553-1415; Veterans Green Jobs Project at 866-984-8452.


Wildland Fire Management:
State and private forestlands will receive $19.8 million from the US Department of Agriculture to reduce wildland fire risk and improve overall forest health. Arapaho-Roosevelt, Medicine Bow-Routt, and Pike- San Isabel National Forests in Colorado will receive a total of $5 million to complete tree removal projects in those areas hardest hit by the bark beetle infestation. Approximately $500,000 of those funds will pay for an agreement to employ young adults through ten accredited Colorado Youth Corps organizations. An additional $500,000 will fund a partnership with Veterans Green Jobs and Southwest Conservation Corps to employ returning veterans in tree removal projects. $1.5 million will fund noxious weed control projects across San Juan National Forest. Four grants of $250,000 each will fund Colorado projects designed to convert the wood collected during wildland fire management projects to energy and energy feedstock. These wood-to-energy projects are located in Grand, Fremont, El Paso and Boulder counties. Contact: Mary Ann Chambers, Bark Beetle Incident Management Team, 970-295-6676; Barb Timrock, Pike-San Isabel National Forests, 719-553-1415; Veterans Green Jobs 866-984-8452.

Aquaculture Assistance:
The State Department of Agriculture has distributed $46,421 to fish farm facilities to help with feed costs in Colorado. Contact: Jim Miller, Colorado Department of Agriculture, 303-239-4103.

Disaster Assistance Transition:
These loans total $194 million nationwide and will be allocated by the US Department of Agriculture to farmers and ranchers to help operate farms. Contact: Jim Miller, Colorado Department of Agriculture, 303-239-4103.


Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program:
These are loans and grants that total $3.78 billion nationwide that will be awarded through a competitive process for municipalities, counties, special-purpose districts and non-profit agencies. The USDA is distributing these funds. Contact: Jim Miller, Colorado Department of Agriculture, 303-239-4103; Dolores Sanchez-Maes, 720-544-2927,


Colorado State Forest Service:
The Colorado State Forest Service, an agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, has received $10.7 million to solicit proposals that will create and retain forestry-related jobs in Colorado. A $6.25 million grant will be distributed on a competitive basis to organizations that want to create or retain jobs to help implement high-priority forest restoration and fuels mitigation projects. A second grant for $4.465 million will help fund jobs affiliated with developing and implementing community wildfire protection plans. A portion of the funds also will create and retain jobs in Colorado's wood products industries. Fifteen organizations and companies received grants in November 2009. Contact: Terrie Craven, CSFS ARRA Program Manager, 970-491-8466, Terrie.Craven@ColoState.EDU.