Given the location of the National Western Center Campus, it’s likely that there are environmental problems that will be found during redevelopment. The area was once home to metal smelting, heavy industry, two major highways, railroad yards, and waste was disposed of in low areas along the river. It’s likely that polluted soils and/or groundwater will be found during the construction of the NWC. The biggest environmental issues outlined in the plan include: air quality, odors, noise, surface water pollution, groundwater pollution, and soil pollution (1). To address these issues, the plan will include proposals to improve drainage, sewage and water quality systems (2). Environmental studies will also be needed as part of the redevelopment to treat polluted areas and manage cleanup, however the environmental issues impacting the broad area surrounding the NWC, like noise and air pollution, are expected to remain during and after redevelopment of the site (3). Possible human health concerns due to land pollution can be improved as part of the redevelopment, although the plan does not state how (4). Redevelopment of the area will create new green and healthy spaces and improve the environment and health of the South Platte River while also increasing access to it (5). The plan for the NWC aims to find new solutions to its energy needs by contracting with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which will develop an energy plan for the campus using solar panels, geothermal heat, and wind turbines with the goal of the NWC creating more energy than it uses (6).

 

1. City and County of Denver. “National Western Center Master Plan.” 18 Dec 2014: 35. PDF. https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/728/documents/NDCC/NWC_Master%20Plan%20Draft%20121814.pdf [Downloaded on March 6, 2016]

2.  City and County of Denver. “National Western Center Master Plan.” 18 Dec 2014: 101-102. PDF. https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/728/documents/NDCC/NWC_Master%20Plan%20Draft%20121814.pdf [Downloaded on March 6, 2016]

3.  City and County of Denver. "National Western Center Master Plan Appendices." 18 Dec 2014: Appendix F, 1. PDF. https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/728/documents/NDCC/NWC_Master%20Plan%20Draft%20Appendices121814.pdf [Downloaded on 03 April 2016].

4.  City and County of Denver. “National Western Center Master Plan.” 18 Dec 2014: 35. PDF. https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/728/documents/NDCC/NWC_Master%20Plan%20Draft%20121814.pdf [Downloaded on March 6, 2016]

5.  City and County of Denver. “National Western Center Master Plan.” 18 Dec 2014: 3-8. PDF. https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/728/documents/NDCC/NWC_Master%20Plan%20Draft%20121814.pdf [Downloaded on March 6, 2016]

6.  Murray, Jon. “Golden’s NREL signs on to help develop National Western energy plan.” The Denver Post. 24 Dec 2015. Web. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29308316/goldens-nrel-signs-help-develop-national-western-energy [Accessed on March 6, 2016]