Lowry Site History


Lowry AFB was established in 1937 as a training facility for the Army Air Corps Technical School and was used primarily as a technical training and airfields operations facility.  In many ways, the activities at Lowry AFB were similar to other communities of the time. A coal-powered steam plant provided heat, gas stations fueled vehicles, municipal waste was taken to a landfill, and machine parts were cleaned with solvents. Fuels and chemicals were stored and used to support the training activities, and disposal of these liquids was conducted using standard waste-handling procedures of the day. These activities were undertaken according to what were then generally accepted practices. However, some of these practices resulted in environmental issues that are being addressed under today's regulatory standards.



In 1992, Lowry AFB was scheduled for permanent closure under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1988 and the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 and on September 20, 1994, Lowry AFB was formally closed. The environmental program at Lowry has been performed in accordance with Federal and State regulations with representatives from the following agencies providing review and/or advice:

  • U.S. Air Force
  • Lowry Economic Redevelopment Authority (LRA)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 (USEPA)
  • City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health
  • City of Aurora

Until 2002, the Air Force managed all of the cleanup work at Lowry. In 2002, the Air Force privatized cleanup of the groundwater base-wide and closure of the former landfill (known as Privatization 1), turning management over to the LRA and its contractor, Lowry Assumption, LLC (LAC). LAC entered into a Consent Agreement with CDPHE to complete this work.  Work on active groundwater remediation began in 2003 and the former base landfill was closed in 2006.

In 2005, the Air Force privatized most of the remaining environmental investigation and cleanup work.  Since the commencement of the second phase (Privatization 2), investigation and remediation have been completed at all of the identified Privatization 2 sites with known environmental issues.  No Further Action (NFA) sites have received a determination from CDPHE that no further remedial action is required.

Ongoing environmental projects at Lowry are listed below: