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Environmental Land Use and Planning

Denver provides oversight of environmentally contaminated site cleanup, works to ensure the sites are investigated and cleaned up to protect the health of residents and the environment, and ensures that the cleanup activities comply with regulations. Denver 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 in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund law, to address Superfund sites located within Denver.

Environmental Review and Assessment

The Denver Environmental Land Use and Planning section (ELUP) works with other City agencies to develop projects through technical advice, regulatory review and recommendations on matters related to environmental issues. ELUP works 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. ELUP also reviews the environmental conditions of all property under consideration for acquisition, to avoid acquisition of contaminated or impaired property.

Vasquez Blvd/I-70 (VBI70) Superfund Site

The Vasquez Blvd/I-70 (VB/I70) site has been listed on the EPA National Priorities List since 1999, and has been moving through the Superfund environmental investigation and cleanup process, with associated use of Superfund resources 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. Below is a database of all residential yards, so you can determine whether a property was sampled and cleaned if necessary.

 

Operable Unit 2 (OU2) Comprised of the former Omaha & Grant Smelter location, which includes the Denver Coliseum and surrounding properties.  The OU2 site area includes the Globeville Landing Outfall (GLO) project.  The City is working  to upgrade stormwater management infrastructure to meet a 100-year flood capacity in the area.  Environmental aspects of the GLO project are overseen by EPA and CDPHE, through a Removal Action Order.  Below is a list of documents that detail several aspects of the project.

Operable Unit 2 2015 Administrative Order of Consent

Additional Resources

The VB/I-70 Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) is designed to create a communication process among the community, EPA, CDPHE, and the City and County of Denver City regarding the Vasquez Boulevard/I-70 Superfund site, with a primary focus on OU 2. The CAG is composed of community and business leaders who represent a group of constituents, and agency representatives.

The CAG serves 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.

Monthly meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month. There is time set aside at the end of each meeting for public questions. Meetings take place in publicly accessible community centers. Locations and agendas will be posted prior to meetings. 

Upcoming meeting dates:

  • May 9th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • June 13th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • July 11th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • August 8th. 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • September 12th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Past Meeting Materials:

Please email SignLanguageServices@denvergov.org if you or someone else is in need of sign language interpretation. 

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. For more information on the stormwater systems program, visit www.denvergov.org/plattetoparkhill.

Portions of GLO are located within the VB/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 a portion of the VB/I-70 Superfund site.

During construction, the City and County of Denver, with CDPHE and EPA will coordinate to monitor and minimize odors or impacts to air quality.

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 39th Avenue Greenway and Open Channel will be a new recreational greenway with a multi-use trail between Franklin and Steele streets.  It will effectively and safely convey floodwater to the outfall at Globeville Landing Park.

Denver is investigating environmental conditions along the planned Greenway in order to safely address any concerns found.   

Resources:

For more information on the project, visit here

Other Projects, Site Cleanups, and Superfund Sites

With 250 acres of redeveloped land, the National Western Complex (NWC) will support Denver’s global standing as a world-class hub for agriculture and innovation.

There are some environmental impacts as a result of historical industrial land uses. The City will ensure the construction of this project will protect public and environmental health.

Resources:

  • NWC Overview
  • Transaction Screen, National Western Complex Redevelopment - A modified environmental screening assessment was conducted of the National Western property to evaluate whether recognized environmental conditions exist that may require further investigation, and to conduct environmental due diligence. 
  • Limited Phase II Environmental Site Assessment - Based on the results of the Transcation Screen, field investigations were conducted to evaluate areas identified as justifying further environmental investigations. 
  • Subsurface Investigation, National Western Center Redevelopment - Additional investigation was conducted in order to further evaluate potential methane migration, and to further delineate and evaluate the presence of chlorinated solvents in groundwater to the southeast of the NWC. 

For more information on the project, visit here

The Heron Pond Master Plan will shape ideas for how the property can:

  • Improve wildlife habitat, community access and safety.
  • Enhance connections to the South Platte River corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Unify Heron Pond Natural Area, Heller Open Space, Northside Park, and adjacent city properties.

Portions of the master plan area are located within the Asarco Globe Cleanup Site, and the City will work to ensure the construction will protect public and environmental health.

For more information on the environmental conditions, view this Heron Pond overview

For more information on the project, visit here

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. 

The City owns the DADS landfill, located at 3500 South Gun Club Road in Aurora, 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 City ensures that DADS operates 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 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 materials. Please call 720-876-2620 for details.

  • Composting - The City encourages waste reduction through composting, either 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. 

  • Environmental Protection at DADS - The City and Waste Management are dedicated to ensuring that the landfill protects the environment. Some of the efforts taken include 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.

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

 

Denver Environmental Health News & Information