Funding announced for new USGS facility on Mines campus

National and state leaders talk benefits of Jeffco infrastructure project

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/23/22

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Colorado School of Mines President Paul Johnson announced Feb. 18 the authorization and initial funding for the construction of a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) building to support energy and mineral research on the School of Mines campus.

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Funding announced for new USGS facility on Mines campus

National and state leaders talk benefits of Jeffco infrastructure project

Posted

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Colorado School of Mines President Paul Johnson announced Feb. 18 the authorization and initial funding for the construction of a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) building to support energy and mineral research on the School of Mines campus.

The initial funding of $167 million, will come as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in late 2021. Perlmutter, Bennet and Hickenlooper were instrumental in helping to secure the funding needed to replace an aging office and lab facilities currently housed at the Denver er Federal Center. 

Aside from USGS lab facilities, the new facility will be used by students, faculty and about 150 USGS staff. The initial funding will not cover the total cost of the new facility, but Bennet praised Perlmutter for his contribution in pushing for the funding.

“This is a significant down payment for the construction of a new U.S. Geological Survey building," Bennet said. “I’m incredibly grateful for Congressman Perlmutter’s leadership on this issue." 

Perlmutter said the new state-of-the-art facility will be a tremendous asset for both Mines and USGS, and support the important work of researchers, scientists, and students in Colorado. 

Haaland spoke of the importance of the new facility in maintaining critical scientific research of her department.

“Science is at the heart of Interior’s mission, and we are committed to empowering the agency’s scientific and technical experts to use the best available technology to guide our work," she said. “This investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help maintain and enhance the necessary infrastructure to provide unique research and operational capabilities in critical minerals research, energy resource evaluation and other essential energy and mineral program priorities for the USGS.” 

The USGS and the Colorado School of Mines first announced their long-term partnership in 2018, but the relationship between Mines and USGS goes back more than 40 years, with both the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center and its National Earthquake Information Center located on the Mines campus.

According to a statement from Perlmutter’s office, the bipartisan infrastructure package will rebuild roads, bridges, transit systems, schools, housing, renewable energy infrastructure, broadband access and much more in Colorado and across the country.

Initial estimates show Colorado will receive over $4.8 billion to support roads, bridges and transit investments alone. Just last week, a separate announcement showed Colorado was set to receive $8 million in FY 2022, part of a total $57 million investment over the next five years to expand its EV charging network and accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs.

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