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Environmental Management and Operations

Environmental Management & Operations (EM&O) works with city agencies and departments to educate city staff and to provide oversight and inspections to ensure environmental compliance. EM&O also leads the city’s effort to enhance environmental performance by being certified to the ISO 14001 Standard. Denver is the only North American city to certify all its departments.

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Denver’s Environmental Management System (EMS) is based on the city’s Environmental Policy. It provides a framework to document processes and practices across city departments to reduce environmental impact and increase operating efficiency in an effort to improve environmental performance in operations and services.

In 2007, the city set the ambitious goal pf implementing the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System across all city operations. By 2010, the entire City of Denver met the stringent requirements. The city was recertified in 2013 and in 2016 by an independent auditor. Denver is proud to be the only North American city to have all operations certified to this high standard.

• Public Works Fleet is implementing an in-house oil analysis and testing program targeted to reduce oil consumption by 19,000 gallons a year.

• Parks & Recreation’s used just 70 percent of its budgeted amount of irrigation water — a savings of $700,000 — partly due to implementing central control.

Like any other organization, operations and maintenance of all city-owned facilities must comply with environmental regulations.

The EM&O Internal Facility Compliance (IFC) program team works to ensure that all facilities remain in compliance with environmental regulations by providing:

  • Technical expertise and consultation
  • Inspection and oversight
  • Sampling, assessment and monitoring
  • Recordkeeping and reporting
  • Interface with regulatory authorities
  • Management of hazardous and regulated wastes

The IFC Program extends these same services to Denver’s cultural facilities that are funded in part by the city, including the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo.

IFC also promotes best management practices for pollution prevention and waste minimization throughout the city, and provides field resources dedicated to the clean-up of illegal dumping and hazardous materials and chemical spills.

The city operates six governmental fleet fueling sites, each equipped with large-volume underground storage tanks and many smaller tanks that support parks and landscape equipment, collect oil from car and truck maintenance, and power the standby electrical generators that support all of the city’s critical buildings and infrastructure.

Certain tanks are subject to state and federal regulation. The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment’s Oil and Public Safety Division oversees the Colorado Petroleum Storage Tank Regulations.

EM&O’s Active Tanks Program (ATP) works with city agencies to ensure all of the city’s regulated tanks meet state and federal requirements. The ATP also ensures that all tanks too small to be regulated by state and federal law comply with local fire code requirements.

Some of the specific services provided by the ATP include:

  • Comprehensive annual tank inspections and testing
  • Continuous monitoring for leaks and other operational conditions
  • Recordkeeping and compliance reporting to the Oil and Public Safety Division
  • Tank installation and removal consultation
  • Tank site renovation and equipment upgrades
  • Tank maintenance and repair by certified environmental professionals
  • Strategic, long-term planning for infrastructure replacement or upgrade

EM&O provides training on a variety of environmental topics to city agencies and departments. The trainings are customized to each department’s operations and potential environmental impact and include stormwater management, hazardous waste management, asbestos in soils and in the built environment, spill prevention (including SPCC where required) and EMS. 

 

Denver Environmental Health News & Information