Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


Denver and Waste Management to pay $265,000; cited for violations of cleanup order

Release Date: 7/16/2004
Contact Information:

      Denver -- The City and County of Denver, Waste Management of Colorado, Inc. and Chemical Waste Management, Inc. will pay a penalty of $265,000 after being cited for their failure, on numerous occasions from August through December 1998, to comply with an EPA order directing cleanup of the Lowry Landfill Superfund site.
Federal District Judge Nottingham approved the consent decree July 14, 2004 resolving a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the terms of the decree, Denver, WMC and CWM will pay the fine to the EPA Hazardous Substance Superfund for detections, in 1998, of chemicals in landfill gas monitoring points at levels above safe standards set for the site.

In the complaint filed with the consent decree, Denver, WMC and CWM were also cited for their failure to immediately notify EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that cleanup standards were exceeded, to submit data demonstrating the exceedances to the agencies on time, and to immediately take action to address the problem. These violations did not increase the risks to human health or the environment posed by the site.

The Superfund site, located in unincorporated Arapahoe County, is approximately 15 miles southeast of downtown Denver. Denver is the current owner and a past operator; WMC is the current operator; and CWM transported wastes to the site.
    From 1966 until 1980, millions of gallons of industrial wastes, including metal plating wastes, petroleum-based oils, pesticides, industrial and chlorinated solvents, acids and alkaline sludges were dumped into unlined pits at the Lowry Landfill. Municipal wastes, including municipal solid waste and sewage sludge, were also disposed of at the site. In 1994, EPA selected a plan to safely contain and treat these wastes in order to protect human health and the environment.

    In November 1999, Denver, WMC and CWM began operation of a soil-vapor extraction system to remove contaminated gas from the subsurface environment at the site. EPA and CDPHE continue to monitor gas levels at the site to ensure they meet landfill gas cleanup standards updated by EPA in September 2001.

    Monitoring since the time of the operation of the soil-vapor extraction system has indicated that landfill cleanup standards are being met.