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Environmental Land Use and Planning

Denver works to ensure that environmentally contaminated sites in the City are cleaned up to protect the health of residents and the environment, and ensure that the cleanup activities comply with regulations.

The Environmental Quality division (EQ) provides oversight of environmentally contaminated sites cleanup. EQ works with city, state and federal regulatory agencies, community partners, residents, and businesses to ensure the public and environment health regulatory requirements are met.

Denver also works through the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to address Superfund sites located within Denver.

Projects, Site Cleanups, and Superfund Sites

The Vasquez Blvd/I-70 site has been listed on the EPA National Priorities List since 1999, thus making it eligible for Superfund resources, environmental investigation and cleanup processes, and public participation opportunities. It is divided into Operable Units (OUs) to better manage the project.

Operable Unit 1 (OU1) - Large-scale soil cleanup operation of residential yards affected by increased arsenic and lead concentrations due to past smelting operations. Below is a database of all residential yards that have been cleaned up.

Operable Unit 2 (OU2) - Comprised of the former Omaha & Grant Smelter location, the Denver Coliseum and surrounding businesses. DEH is working with the EPA to upgrade stormwater management infrastructure to meet a 100-year flood capacity in the area. Below is a list of documents that detail several aspects of the project.

Operable Unit 2 2015 Administrative Order of Consent

The Globeville Landing Outfall (GLO) Project will upgrade the stormwater management infrastructure to meet a 100-year flood capacity and expand and redesign the Globeville Landing Park..

Portions of GLO are located within the Vasquez Boulevard/I-70 Superfund site, which includes the former Omaha & Grant Smelter site located on the Denver Coliseum property. Through investigations from the EPA, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the City of Denver, the area has been found to contain heavy metal contamination in the soils and groundwater.

The City, with the EPA and CDPHE, is working to protect the health of residents and the environment during construction of GLO.

GLO allows the opportunity to make Globeville Landing Park a more desirable park for the community by:

  • improving connectivity
  • reclaiming the concrete culvert as park land
  • adding a natural open channel with vegetation that will move storm water safely
  • improving the overall park design

The construction for GLO will run through the Vasquez Boulevard/I-70 (VB/I-70) Superfund (land that has been contaminated) site.

During construction, the City and County of Denver, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will coordinate to monitor and minimize odors or impacts to air quality.

VB/I-70 Fact Sheet - For more information on the VB/I-70 Superfund, view the Vasquez Blvd/ I-70 tab above. 

Project Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Project Information:

Air Monitoring Reports

During construction, there are a few ways to stay connected to the GLO Project and to the Platte to Park Hill Program:

GLO Construction Project

Platte to Park Hill Program:

 

El proyecto de desagüe de Globeville Landing (GLO por sus iniciales en inglés) incluirá trabajo para expandir y rediseñar el parque Globeville Landing. El proyecto de desagüe de Globeville Landing brinda la oportunidad de convertir el parque Globeville Landing en un espacio más deseable para la comunidad debido a que:

  • mejora la conectividad
  • recupera el área de la alcantarilla de concreto como terreno del parque
  • adiciona un canal natural abierto con vegetación que desplaza el agua de lluvia de manera segura
  • mejora el diseño general del parque

La construcción del desagüe de Globeville Landing atravesará el “Superfondo” (terreno que ha sido contaminado) de la intersección del bulevar Vazquez y la Interestatal 70 (VB/I-70)

Durante la construcción, La Ciudad y el Condado de Denver con el Departamento de Salud Pública y del Medio Ambiente de Colorado y la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de los Estados Unidos se tomarán medidas para reducir a un mínimo el impacto sobre la calidad del aire, los olores molestos y el polvo.

Acerce de VB/I-70

Preguntas habituales (FAQs por sus siglas en inglés)

Información adicional del proyecto:

Durante el período de construcción hay varias maneras de mantenerse conectado con el proyecto del GLO y el programa del Platte a Park Hill:

PROYECTO DE CONSTRUCCION DEL GLO:

PROGRAMA DEL PLATTE A PARK HILL

 

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The Vasquez Blvd/ I70 Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) is designed to create a communication process among the community, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the City and County of Denver (City) regarding the Vasquez Boulevard/I-70 Superfund site, with a primary focus on Operable Unit (OU) 2. The CAG is composed of community and business leaders who are able to represent a group of constituents, and agency representatives.  

The CAG is designed to serve as an ongoing vehicle for information-sharing, discussion, and, where possible, consensus-building regarding decision-making related to the site. Its members represent a diverse cross-section of key stakeholder interests, including affected property owners, concerned residents, community groups, environmental groups, the business community, and others as appropriate.

The monthly meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month. There is time set aside at the end of each meeting for public questions. 

Next meeting: April 11th, 2017. Location will be announced soon and agenda will be posted prior to meeting.

March 13th Meeting Minutes

For more information on the Superfund, visit the above Vasquez Blvd/ I70 tab and Globeville Landing Outfall Project tab. 

From the mid-1960s until 1980, the City and County of Denver operated the Lowry Landfill, which accepted industrial and municipal solid waste. For more information visit www.lowrylandfillinfo.com.

The Denver Radium Superfund Site Report details the activities of the site from the discovery of radium contamination in 1979 to present. 

Learn More

The Denver Environmental Land Use and Planning (ELUP) Environmental Site Assessment Program (ESA) works with other City agencies to development projects with technical advice, regulatory review and recommendations on matters related to environmental issues. Goals of ESA are to ensure that projects minimize adverse impacts to the environment, protect human health, minimize existing liability, prevent new liabilities and will be completed in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. ESA additionally reviews the environmental conditions of all property under consideration for acquisition, to avoid acquisition of contaminated or impaired property in compliance with Denver Executive Order No 100.

The City and County of Denver owns the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS) landfill, which is located at 3500 South Gun Club Road, Aurora, CO, just east of the intersection of Hampden Avenue and South Gun Club Road. DADS is a fully permitted subtitle D landfill and accepts municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, asbestos waste, and some types of industrial wastes such as coal-fired power plant fly ash and petroleum-contaminated soil.

The Division of Environmental Quality ensures that DADS operates in a manner consistent with state and federal regulations and in accordance to the operating agreement between the City and Waste Management of Colorado, Inc., who operates the landfill on the City’s behalf. 

For questions concerning hours of operation, disposal costs, and disposal requirements at DADS, please call 720-876-2620. For questions concerning the management and acceptance of industrial wastes, please call 720-977-2102.

Background

DADS is a part of a larger tract of land deeded to the City and County of Denver in the 1960s by the federal government for the purposes of public health. The initial landfill, Lowry, operated through 1990. In 1990, the DADS landfill began operations and continues to operate today as the largest landfill in Colorado and one of the largest in the country. DADS accepts on average 6,500 tons of waste per day or about 2 million tons per year.

Compatible and sustainable practices and services have been and continue to be incorporated into the DADS property. These uses are offered through the City and Waste Management, Waste Management only, or third parties. Over 7 million shredded tires that were collected during the 1960s and 1970s were used as tire-derived fuel in the early 2000s. The landfill gas to energy plant generates enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes per year. There is also a drop off area for household and some construction recyclable material, an area for concrete and asphalt recycling, and a composting facility.

Recycling

The City and County of Denver encourages reduce, reuse, and recycling both within Denver and in the surrounding communities. Denver residents can obtain information concerning recycling and household hazardous waste services at Denver Recycles.

Additionally, recycling drop off of the following materials is available at DADS: Asphalt Shingles, Electronic Waste, Scrap Metal, Single Stream, White Goods, and Whole Tires. Fees apply to some material. Please call 720-876-2620 for details.

Composting

The City and County of Denver also encourages waste reduction through composting, whether through backyard composting, drop off programs, or contracted services.

Compostable material, such as food waste, yard clippings, and clean lumber, may also be taken to DADS for processing into compost product. Please call 720-876-2620 for fees and details.  

Environment

The City and County of Denver and Waste Management are dedicated to ensuring that the landfill protects the environment by monitoring groundwater through a network of groundwater monitoring wells, operating a landfill gas collection system, and screening waste received to make sure that no regulated hazardous waste is landfilled. These are just a few of the environmental management efforts undertaken at DADS to protect the environment.

 

For further information regarding the DADS landfill, contact:
Diane DeLillio, Project Manager
720-865-5448
diane.delillio@denvergov.org

GIS has a long history in the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental Quality Division, being one of four City entities that first began using GIS in the early 90’s. 

Today GIS has grown and is an integral part of EQ operations used to present and analyze the spatial components of its environmental projects.

EQ has been the primary driver of geospatial technology within DEH promoting the use of state of the art ESRI ArcMap software, geospatial data, electronic documents, historical maps, and current as well as historical aerial photography. The EQ division has many GIS-trained employees and interns who use desktop applications, custom tools and modeling to perform their jobs. 

GIS collaboration takes place among DEH divisions as well as other City agencies, the State of Colorado, Federal agencies and the public to provide the superior geospatial products that have shaped Denver’s GIS into a nation-wide model.

EQ functions with geospatial components include:

  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Environmental and Health Regulatory Compliance
  • Home and Business Energy Outreach
  • Sustainability Programs
  • Brownfields Remediation
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Health Impact Assessments
  • Air and Water quality
  • Land Use Planning
  • Asbestos Remediation
  • Mosquito/Vector Program

 

Denver Environmental Health News & Information