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Penrose Funeral Home

Site Contact:
Joyce Ackerman
Federal On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
Return to Nature Funeral Home
31 Werner Road
Penrose, CO 81240

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct a removal action, as requested by Fremont County and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, to remove and dispose of medical and hazardous materials from the Return to Nature Funeral Home.


Following the assessment, EPA has determined that demolition of the building is necessary to safely remove biological and hazardous materials found in the building. EPA is in the process of developing a workplan to conduct the demolition in January 2024. Details of the demolition process, safety measures, and timeframe will be shared publicly once procedures are finalized.  



To address the public nuisance identified at the Return to Nature Funeral Home at 31 Werner Road, Penrose Colorado on October 31, 2023, the Fremont County Board of Health ratified issuance of a legal Public Health Order. Following this Public Health Order, Fremont County and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment  requested that the EPA conduct a “removal action” including demolishing and disposing of building materials.

In response to this request, an EPA team and their contractors conducted an assessment of the building on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, to determine EPA’s role and next steps.  Personnel entering the building wore protective clothing to protect them from any residual medical or hazardous materials remaining inside the building. There were no risks to the public from these assessment activities.  The assessment is complete. 

EPA’s Role in Removal Actions

EPA’s emergency response program responds to oil spills, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents, including large-scale national emergencies. EPA provides support when requested or when state and local first responder capabilities have been exceeded. Through coordinating and implementing a wide range of activities, EPA conducts removal actions to protect human health and the environment.

In carrying out these responsibilities, EPA coordinates with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and local governments. This coordination is done through On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) who are the federal officials responsible for monitoring or directing responses.


Updated: November 29, 2023