Community Protection

Welcome to the Community Protection section of the Environmental Quality Division. Here you will find information on a variety of health topics that directly effect Denver and its communities and citizens. Learn more about various programs that help keep you and your family and friends happier, healthier, and safer.

Community Resources

Asbestos inspections: city-owned facilities

Managing Regulated Building Materials (Asbestos and Lead) in facilities owned and operated by the City and County of Denver

The Environmental Quality Division (EQD) is responsible for controlling and mitigating the health effects and environmental hazards of environmentally regulated building materials such as asbestos and lead-based paint. We achieve this by:

  • Environmental Compliance: managing materials in a responsible manner to minimize potential health and environmental hazards while following all State, Federal, and local regulations.
  • Communication: providing verbal and written information to all City employees, contractors, and visitors to City facilities and properties, owned, leased, or otherwise, that have been identified as having environmentally regulated building materials. 
  • Functionality: implementing an operations and maintenance plan to monitor the condition of regulated building materials as part of a maintenance plan.

To date, we have surveyed over 3 million square feet of asbestos materials throughout city owned and operated facilities and properties. The majority of this material safely remains as a functional part of a building system and is monitored by city personnel for any needed maintenance or abatement actions.

Asbestos inspections: non-city owned facilities in Denver

Regulating external facilities within the City and County of Denver

Public and commercial buildings and or private and residential homeowners who are remodeling, renovating or demolishing any structures are subject to State and Federal regulations which require inspection for asbestos. Buildings of any age may contain asbestos and must be inspected for asbestos prior to impacting any building materials by a State-certified asbestos inspector. A current list of Asbestos Inspectors can be found at

If the amount of asbestos-containing material to be disturbed exceeds the following trigger levels than a State registered abatement contractor must remove and dispose of the material.

  • Single- family residential dwellings: 32 square feet of surface material, 50 linear feet on pipes, or the volume equivalent of a 55-gallon drum.
  • All other areas other than single-family residential dwellings, the trigger levels are 160 square feet on surfaces, 260 linear feet on pipes, or the volume equivalent of

A certified General Abatement Contractor must remove asbestos-containing materials that are regulated or may become regulated before they are disturbed by renovation or demolition activities. A current list of General Abatement Contractors can be found at

Demolitions, Destructive Salvage, House Moving

If you demolish, perform destructive salvage, perform de-constructions, burn, destroy, dismantle, dynamite, implode, knock down, level, pull down, pulverize, raze, tear down, wreck all of a structure or structural components or you move a house you are subject to State and Federal regulations even when there is NO asbestos in the facility.

Prior to Demolition:

  • Inspection:  The building must be inspected for asbestos by a State-certified asbestos inspector.
  • Asbestos Removal (if necessary) must be performed by a Colorado-certified General Abatement Contractor.  Any asbestos containing material that is friable or will be made friable during demolition activities must be removed prior to demolition. 
  • Notification of Demolition form must be submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, even if no asbestos was found during the inspection, payment of a notification fee and ten (10) working days waiting period is required before the demolition can proceed.

The Division of Environmental Quality also provides assistance to City and County of Denver residents; however, we do not offer asbestos testing. If you are a resident of the City and County of Denver and have concerns, please contact Jeffrey Wolfe at (720-865-5474) or Steve Gonzales at (720-865-5447).

Environmental complaints

The Environmental Protection and Response Section investigate environmental health complaints for:

  • Air Quality issues such as fugitive dust, smoke, opacity, odors, and idling vehicles
  • Water Quality issues such as illicit discharges to the storm system and surface water
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste issues such as abandoned waste and discharges to the ground

Our mission is to ensure the overall health and safety for our residents and visitors through education and regulation. If you have an environmental complaint or concern, please contact us at 720-913-1311 or 311 in the Denver Metro Area.

External facility compliance

Denver has over 400 businesses that emit air pollution and are required to report their emissions and apply for permits to emit. The External Facility Compliance Program is designed to reduce the incidents of illicit air emissions through inspection of permitted facilities, education of those working at permitted facilities, investigations of complaints, and enforcement of regulations that affect air quality.

Air emission permits are issued through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The type of permit needed is determined by the volume and type of emissions. More information on air emission permitting can be found on the CDPHE website.

If you have an environmental complaint or concern, please contact us at 720-913-1311 or 311 in the Denver Metro Area.