EnvironmentHot Sheet

Denver Superfund sites, environmental protections, threatened under EPA budget cuts, city councilwomen say

Author: Adam McCoy - January 2, 2018 - Updated: January 31, 2018

Proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget would threaten on-going environmental protection efforts in Denver — particularly Superfund site cleanup and maintenance — two Denver city councilwomen say.

The two council members, Robin Kniech and Debbie Ortega, penned a post last week on the city’s website detailing their concerns about the cuts to the EPA’s 2018 budget and the critical work the agency does in the city.

“Even when local and state governments address clean air and water, waste disposal and hazardous substances, citizens and local officials count on EPA to watch over and ensure the right things are done in compliance with laws and proper standards,” the two wrote. “When other agencies do Environmental Impact Statements, such as for the I-70/Central project, EPA has critical consulting roles so we know environmental laws are being followed.”

The White House has proposed slashing the EPA’s 2018 budget by 31 percent, making good on President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to dramatically scale-back the EPA, leaving “little tidbits” in place, the New York Times reports.

The steep proposed budget trimming would threaten cleanup and maintenance of several hazardous waste Superfund sites in Denver, the councilwomen said.

“Broderick Wood Products, Chemical Sales Co., Lowry Landfill, Denver Radium Sites, one part of Vasquez Boulevard/I-70 (residential properties) and Rocky Mountain Arsenal have all been remediated or at least brought under control,” Kniech and Ortega wrote. “EPA’s mission continues at all these sites, in the form of overseeing operations and maintenance of the remedies that were done.”

“Conducting, overseeing and monitoring Superfund cleanups is EPA’s job by act of Congress – give them the funds to do it,” they said.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.