Bloomfield hosts community workshop on how to redevelop old refinery site

City officials are trying to clean up the contaminated land

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
The old Aerex Refinery site at the intersection of West Blanco Boulevard and North Fifth Street in Bloomfield. The City of Bloomfield is hosting a July 20 community workshop on how to redevelop the old site after cleaning up the contaminated soil.
  • The City of Bloomfield is hosting a July 20 community workshop on how to redevelop the old Aerex Refinery site.
  • The community workshop on the re-development of the old Aerex Refinery site is set for 6 p.m. on July 20 at Bloomfield City Hall council chambers at 915 N. First St.
  • Contaminated soil was located in 1994 where an old 55,000-gallon storage tank was installed, according to The Daily Times archives.

FARMINGTON — The City of Bloomfield is continuing its efforts to remediate contaminated land where an old oil refinery operated by hosting a community workshop to solicit input on how to develop the land.

The community workshop on the re-development of the old Aerex Refinery site is set for 6 p.m. on July 20 at the Bloomfield City Hall council chambers at 915 N. First St.

The forum is organized to help city officials pursue an Environmental Protection Agency grant to clean up three parcels of land amounting to about 18 acres around the intersection of West Blanco Boulevard and Fifth Street, according to City Manager George Duncan.

The EPA’s Brownfield Program could provide funding to remediate the land into something city officials could possibly redevelop into recreational space for community members, or a mixed-use site for residential and commercial uses with retail and commercial space on the ground floor and apartments above.

Some of the ideas that have been floated for the site include a skate park, BMX park, a splash pad and recreational fields for youth football, Duncan said.

“I think we're looking at things that would enhance the recreational experience for young folks or even older folks,” Duncan said.

A slide from a November 2020 presentation from the City of Bloomfield shows the three parcels of land city officials hope to remediate in order to redevelop the site for recreational or commercial/residential use.

Contaminated soil was located in 1994 near where an old 55,000-gallon storage tank was installed, according to The Daily Times archives. The tank is a possible source for a reported oil pool on the land.

The contaminated soil occupies an area about 200 feet wide and extends about 17 feet below the surface.

Duncan said the city government has an agreement with Clayton Properties for the transfer of the land to city ownership if an EPA grant to remediate the land is obtained.

The City of Bloomfield is partnering with the New Mexico Environment Department and the EPA along with Kansas State University for the July 20 workshop.

The Technical Assistance Brownfields team from KSU is holding the workshop to gather public input. The workshop was first planned for Spring 2020 but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bloomfield city website states the Brownfield grants are highly competitive and community involvement could boost the chances of the grant's approval.  

News:Contaminated land could be remediated, replaced with skate park

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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