The SHWD Voluntary Remediation Program has enabled the successful cleanup and restoration of contaminated lands in a number of communities around Wyoming. The impacts made through the VRP are not only enduring for these communities – they're also achieved through economically feasible practices that encourage the long-term, productive usage of these lands.
Browse through the following stories to learn more about the program's established successes.
Jackson Hole VRP Site
The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort maintenance shop was a classic brownfield site. A developer was interested in purchasing this property and turning it into a world-class hotel complex. However, potential environmental issues presented an obstacle for obtaining financing for the hotel complex.
The VRP worked diligently with the environmental consultant and the developer to move the site through the independent cleanup process (ICP). Earlier site investigations, combined with soil removals, revealed no remaining environmental concerns; therefore, the VRP was able to provide the environmental liability assurances necessary to secure funding for the purchase of the property and construction of the hotel complex. Today, in the place where a small maintenance shop once stood, a beautiful four-star hotel and condominium complex rest in the shadow of the beautiful Teton Mountains near Jackson Hole.
City of Evanston VRP Site
In 1972, the Union Pacific Railroad gifted the City of Evanston with the historical Roundhouse and Railyard Complex, which is also located in Evanston. The buildings, soils, and groundwater on the site were contaminated with a variety of organic and inorganic contaminants.
The City of Evanston, in an effort to remediate and restore this site, applied and was accepted into the DEQ's VRP on February 4, 2003. VRP staff worked extensively with the City of Evanston to evaluate and identify different options for addressing the contamination that were protective of human health and the environment and were cost effective and economically feasible. In addition, VRP staff worked with the City of Evanston to help identify potential funding sources for remediation and restoration efforts. In 2006, DEQ determined that the Roundhouse and Railyard Complex met the definition of a brownfield and that the City of Evanston was a favorable candidate to receive Brownfields Cleanup Assistance.
The City of Evanston is using a phased approach to remediate and restore the site. The first phase has focused on cleaning up and restoring the historic machine shop, and constructing a paved parking lot and pedestrian plaza. The machine shop and parking lot are completed and the pedestrian plaza is underway. The Brownfields Cleanup Assistance was used for the cleanup of the parking lot area. The next phase (2) will focus on remediation and restoration of the Roundhouse and surrounding area. The City of Evanston is currently pursuing additional funding sources to help with Phase 2.
Once cleaned up and renovated, the Roundhouse and Railyard Complex will provide a tremendous revitalization focus for downtown Evanston and a significant economic benefit for the community.