DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Housing Authority announced plans to clean up and redevelop the former Zuni tank farm in the Sun Valley neighborhood. The Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1.04 million grant to assist with cleanup.

“This is an area that has historically been disenfranchised residents have a power plant and tank yards in their backyard,” said Christina Wilson with EPA Region 8.

The plan is to convert the site into energy-efficient affordable housing units and a riverfront park, which will include a water-feature play area, play fields and courts and multi-use trails. But given the site’s history, it needs to be decontaminated before anything can be built.

“The tank farm was just recently demolished but it left behind significant contamination in the soil,” Wilson said. “There’s heavy metals, there’s lead, there’s asbestos, so before any redevelopment can take place we need to clean up the soils that are on site and they can move forward with housing.”

Large construction vehicles on a plot of dirt land with a chain-link fence and "Warning" sign
The contaminated former Zuni tank farm in the Sun Valley neighborhood of Denver (KDVR)

EPA’s award for the Sun Valley project is among eight brownfields grants totaling more than $5 million announced this month for cleanup and revitalization projects in communities across Colorado.

“The amount of money coming into Colorado to do assessments and clean-ups is really unprecedented, and I think it’s gonna make really great changes across our state,” Wilson said.

DHA will receive the grant money on Oct. 1.