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Leading By Example

The Environmental Quality division of the Department of Public Health and Environment strives to be a leader that moves Denver to a sustainable future.

Denver is the only city nationally to have an independently certified Environmental Management System, which covers all municipal operations. The City’s EMS is a best-in-class management tool that focuses an organization on critical issues, planning, implementation, tracking results and using that information to continuously improve. We use the EMS as a foundation that underpins sustainability in day-to-day City operations.

  • Over the last 15 years, the city has cleaned up 60 leaking underground storage tank sites.
  • Denver’s city operations hold 137 environmental permits for air emission sources, water quality discharges, petroleum storage tanks, and waste generator facilities.  We conduct more than 750 inspections annually to make sure we’re in compliance with our permit requirements, and have a 98 percent internal compliance rate.
  • Denver owns approximately 30,000 acres of land, primarily in open space parks and street rights of ways, which is almost one third of the city.  We are vigilant in ensuring that environmental issues on our properties are identified and quickly addressed, for the safety of our residents and workers.
  • Denver generates hazardous, electronic, and other regulated wastes at our facilities, including our fleet maintenance operations, our office buildings, and our recreation centers. Through time, our generation of these wastes has dropped by 24 percent due to recycling, change of business processes, and use of different products and materials.