United States
Environmental Protection
                 EPA Update on  Federal Facility Cleanup and Reuse
Reuse Roundup
     Across the country, EPA's Federal Facilities Program
     is helping transform former federal installations
     into commercial, residential, recreational, and eco-
logical properties while ensuring protection of public health
and the environment. This issue of Partners in Progress
highlights five sites that demonstrate the value of former
federal installations after military activities and weapons
production cease, and communities take advantage of reuse

Rocky Flats, Colorado

  For almost 40 years, Rocky Flats was one of the prime
nuclear weapons production sites in the United States. The
Department of Energy manufactured weapons components
from plutonium, uranium, and beryllium beginning in
1952 and ending in 1989, when safety concerns led to sus-
pension of operations at the facility.

  Now, after more than a decade of cleanup efforts, the
6,300-acre site in Colorado is set to become a National
Wildlife Refuge.  Once EPA and Colorado state regulators
evaluate and approve completion of the cleanup, Rocky
Flats will be transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
                 (FWS). Situated 16 miles north-
                 west of downtown Denver, the
                 site includes prairie, wetland,
                 and upland shrub habitats and is
                 home to many rare or threat-
                 ened species, such as Preble's
                 meadow jumping mouse and
                 xeric tallgrasses. The National
                 Wildlife Refuge will offer 12.8
                 miles of multi-use trails, 3.8
                 miles of hiking-only trails, a
                 visitor contact station, interpre-
                 tive overlooks, viewing blinds,
                 as well as environmental
                 education and scientific
                 research opportunities.
                                       Rocky Flats, before and after cleanup.

                                        The Department of Energy has addressed contamination
                                       of soil, ground water, and more than 800 structures,
                                       including manufacturing facilities, guard towers, and stor-
                                       age tanks. Much of the cleanup effort focused on the 385
                                       acres known as the "Industrial Area" where most of the
                                       weapons manufacturing took place and where plutonium,
                                       uranium, and americium contamination persists. Modern
                                       technology expedited decontamination (see Partners in
                                       Progress Issue 8, November 2003), and physical cleanup
                                       was completed in October 2005 - a year ahead of schedule
                                       and $500 million under budget. A comprehensive risk
                                       assessment is ongoing and expected to be completed in the
                                       first half of 2006.

                                       Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado

                                        Activities at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City,
                                       Colorado, have evolved from chemical weapons production
                                       in 1942 to prairie grass restoration in 2005. During World
                                       War II, the former Army installation manufactured chemical
                                       weapons and munitions. Portions of the 17,000-acre site
                  Federal   Cleanups  That  Put  Citizens  First

          Reist Rundup
Rocky Mountain Arsenal's Lake Mary

were subsequently leased to a private company for agricultur-
al pesticide production until 1982. Waste disposal methods,
acceptable at the time, resulted in significant soil and ground
water contamination. Remediation included the installation
of several ground water treatment systems and innovative
landfill covers to prevent contaminant transport. A signifi-
cant portion of the site has been deemed safe for ecological
reuse, and in 2004, approximately 5,000 acres were trans-
ferred to FWS  for establishment of a National Wildlife
Refuge. An additional 900 acres were sold to Commerce City
for development.
  Commerce City created plans for "Prairie Gateway" on
the 900 acres now owned by the city. Site plans include a
visitor center for the refuge, Commerce City's new Civic
Center, a professional soccer stadium, and other commer-
cial and recreational development. FWS will manage its
5,000-acre parcel, and 10,000 additional acres will be trans-
ferred upon completion of cleanup in 2012. The FWS land
will operate as Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife
Refuge—the largest urban refuge in the country. Just  10
miles northeast of downtown Denver, the site is home to
more than 330 species, including bald eagles, coyotes, deer,
and white pelicans. FWS will conduct ecosystem restora-
tion to revitalize native prairie habitat and will implement a
biomonitoring program to detect potential impacts of conta-
mination and cleanup on representative species. Community
benefits include 9 miles of trails for wildlife observation
and photography, a visitor center, public tours, and envi-
ronmental education programs. Accessible platforms will
allow visitors to participate in  catch and release fishing for
popular trophy-size bluegill, catfish, northern pike, and
largemouth bass.

Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado

  What was once an aircraft hangar is now an ice rink.
What was once a steam plant is now a luxury apartment
building. Transformations at Lowry Air Force Base have
been dramatic and have profoundly benefited the commu-
nities of Denver and Aurora, Colorado. Redevelopment at
the site generated $4  billion between 1994 and 2003 from
taxes, fees, tourism, and commercial/residential develop-
ment, among other renewal efforts.
                                                           Military operations at Lowry ceased in 1994. The base
                                                         served as a training ground for most of its history, but also
                                                         was the site of the first Titan IICBM silos in the 1950s and
                                                         housed an undergraduate space program in the 1980s.
                                                         Cleanup began in the 1990s to address contamination issues
                                                         such as landfills, asbestos, ground water pollution, and  unex-
                                                         ploded munitions. Special efforts to recycle demolition
                                                         waste from buildings and runways resulted in 600,000  tons
                                                         of cement being reused in 23 miles of new roads.
                                                                   New homes at Lowry Air Force Base

                                                                     After the base was transferred to the Lowry
                                                                   Redevelopment Authority, some parcels were redeveloped,
                                                                   and new residents moved into newly constructed homes as
                                                                   early as 1998. Now, Lowry boasts more than 6,000 resi-
                                                                   dents,  a large library, medical center, ice arena, the "Wings
                                                                   Over the Rockies" museum,  two  community colleges, and
                                                                   800 acres of public parkland. The community continues to
                                                                   monitor and manage environmental hazards, and has won
                                                                   numerous awards for sustainable  development and smart
                                                                   Lowry Town Center
                                                                  Watertown,  Massachusetts
                                                                     Military history in Watertown, Massachusetts, can be
                                                                  traced back to 1816 when President James Madison estab-
                                                                  lished the Watertown Arsenal, later known as the Army
                                                                  Materials Technology Laboratory (AMTL). Originally
                                                                  charged with the storage, cleaning, and issuance of small

Watertown Arsenal Day Care Center

arms, military activity at the site progressed to ammunition
production, weapons testing, and even nuclear research,
with the completion of the Army's first material nuclear test
reactor in I960.

   Located approximately five miles west of Boston, the site
was added to EPA's Superfund National Priority List in
1994 due in large part  to its proximity to the Charles River
and the residential community. The base officially closed in
1995. Cleanup, which  involved the decommissioning of the
nuclear test reactor under Nuclear Regulatory Commission
oversight, the removal of the underground tanks, and soil
excavation, prepared 36.5 acres for transfer back to
Watertown in 1998. (Fifty-nine acres of the Arsenal had
been purchased by the  local  community in 1968 for use as
retail, residential, park, and office space.) The Army also
conducted investigations into public heath hazards from
underground storage tanks. In September 2005, Watertown
Arsenal achieved "site construction completion," an EPA
designation that means all physical cleanup activities have
been completed.

   An office and manufacturing center on  the Commander's
Quarters Parcel has attracted tenants such  as Harvard
Business School Publishing Corporation, Arthur D. Little,
and Bright Horizons Corporate Headquarters, and created
approximately 2,000 new jobs for the  area. Redevelopment
has also included athletic fields, an ice rink, childcare facili-
ties, restaurants, retail,  and walking and bike trails. Great
care was taken to preserve the historic architecture of the
brick buildings while modernizing them with features such
as fiber optic cable for  Internet access.
Fort Devens,  Massachusetts

  When Fort Devens was established in 1917, nobody
envisioned that the temporary training ground for soldiers
destined for World War I would remain a part of U.S. mili-
tary infrastructure for the next 79 years. Prior to closure,
the installation—just 35 miles west of Boston—served as a
training facility and home to generations of soldiers. Now,
thanks to  a successful cleanup, transfer, and redevelopment
process, Fort  Devens is serving as a home to a host of new
civilian residents and businesses.

  To date, some 76 businesses have moved into 4,400
redeveloped acres of the original 9,280 acre installation,
thanks to  quick permitting processes, tax incentives, and
other business-friendly provisions. These businesses now
employ approximately 3,600 people, some of whom live in
housing developed on the Devens property.
 The Red Tail Golf Course on the Fort Devens site

  Residents of Devens now enjoy downtown services and
onsite childcare, as well as a hotel and conference center,
and the 18-hole Red Tail Golf Club. The new Devens
School District has been established to serve the communi-
ty's students. In addition to these amenities, residents can
also enjoy the site's 2,100 acres of open space and quick
access to the surrounding communities of Ayers, Harvard,
and Shirley. Residential development at the site is ongoing.

  After the closure of Fort Devens in  1996, the
Department of Defense, under EPA oversight, undertook
extensive remediation activities to address contamination
from hazardous materials attributed to the  site's extensive
military history. These  activities included the construction
of a consolidated landfill, removal of contaminated soil, the
installation of a ground water treatment and monitoring
system, and remediation of a number  of fueling stations for
both ground vehicles and aircraft.
 Watertown Arsenal Commander's mansion

BRAC Commission

Recommendations Sent

to  Congress
       On September 15, 2005, the President approved the
       Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
       Commissions recommended actions for 2005 and
forwarded them to Congress for subsequent review.
Congress has a period of 45 legislative days from that date to
review the commissions recommended actions, and if no
action is taken by the Congress within the 45 day time peri-
od the recommendations become binding on the
Department of Defense (DoD) to implement.

   The BRAC process was designed to aid in military readi-
ness by assessing the military's needs and restructuring the
base system as necessary by closing bases no longer needed
and modifying the purpose and personnel of other installa-
tions.  Previous rounds of BRAC were conducted in 1988,
1991, 1993, and 1995.

   The 2005 BRAC recommendation affects some 72 facili-
ties currently listed on the National Priorities List (NPL).  Of
these facilities, six are slated for closure and 33 will be
realigned with a net loss in personnel. Another 33 facilities
will see net gains in personnel as a result of BRAC recom-
mendations. Sites are listed on the NPL because they pose a
threat of actual or potential exposures to hazardous sub-
stances, pollutants, or contaminants that can harm human
health and/or the  environment. At federal facilities listed on
the NPL, EPA is responsible for negotiating cleanup agree-
ments at facilities; overseeing investigation and response
activities, including jointly selecting the cleanup remedies;
reviewing and commenting on remedies in the Five-Year
Review reports; and preparing documents for deleting certain
parcels or entire areas of land off the NPL.

   Designation of NPL sites on the BRAC  2005 list—
whether they are designated for closure or realignment—does
not alter their status on the NPL. DoD facilities whose func-
tions may change as a result of a BRAC action remain
subject to environmental cleanup sufficient to reduce risks to
human health and the environment. Where DoD wants to
dispose of excess property, cleanup activities must be com-
pleted on the property prior to transfer or, in certain cases,
portions of properties undergoing cleanup may be  transferred
to communities prior to cleanup completion. In those
instances, however, these transferred parcels  remain subject to
cleanup activity until a suitable standard is reached, and may
be restricted in their use.

   Following cleanup and transfer, these former federal facil-
ities may  become  the property of state or local governments,
tribes, or  private industry, and reused for purposes  that bene-
fit their surrounding communities, such as wildlife preserves,
residential housing, business, and parkland.
Recommended BRAC Closures of NPL Sites
    Brunswick Naval Air Station
    Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant
    Malony U.S. Army Reserve Center (on Fort Devens)
    Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant
    Umatilla Army Depot
    Willow Grove Naval Air Station
                                                                     Federal Facilities
                                                                     Restoration and  Reuse Office