Whit Gibbons: ‘Why do we need the Environmental Protection Agency?’

January 29, 2012

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From the Tuscaloosa News (Whit Gibbons). Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

Want to have cancer-causing, bird-killing DDT sprayed in your neighborhood? How about having high levels of brain- damaging mercury dumped into your favorite fishing spot? What about paper mill wastes clogging up rivers and fouling the air people breathe?

These health hazards were once commonplace in communities throughout our country. That they are no longer the hazards they once were is due in no small part to the Environmental Protection Agency, which protects us from these and other environmental abuses. Without EPA oversight, the United States would be a much less healthy place to live.

Those who believe we do not need federal regulation of activities that can turn the country into a toxic waste dump are likely unaware of the far-reaching environmental and human health consequences of such actions. They may also not want to accept the fact that some individuals and many corporations will put profit ahead of all other considerations–including the health and well-being of the general populace.

More Environmental Protection Agency coverage here.


Attorney General Suthers proposes $1.6 million settlement for Lowry Landfill

June 9, 2010

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From the Aurora Sentinel (Brandon Johannson):

According to a statement from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, the state reached a settlement with the property owner, operator and groups that sent waste to the landfill. Suthers said the settlement means the state and those involved can avoid lengthy and expensive litigation to determine to what extent each group was involved. “This settlement provides an equitable and appropriate solution to address the injuries at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site,” Suthers said in the statement. “The agreement will allow Colorado to move forward on resource restoration instead of spending years locked in costly litigation.”

The 508-acre site is in unincorporated Arapahoe County near East Hampden Avenue and South Gun Club Road, less than a mile east of E-470. According to Suthers’ office, it was the principal landfill for the Front Range as well as the industrial landfill for many Colorado companies, taking solid and liquid waste from 1965 through 1980 and solid waste from 1980 until 1990.

The settlement, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, is now open for public comment for the next 30 days.

Under the first settlement, the companies and entities that contributed waste materials to the site will pay the state more than $1.1 million, money that will assist the state in restoring natural resources and compensate for damage to the groundwater at the site, according to Suthers’ statement.

A second settlement, between the state and the City and County of Denver, Waste Management of Colorado and Chemical Waste Management, Inc., will require the parties to pay the state $500,000, the statement said. That money will be used for a loan for low- to middle-income households needing sewer repairs, something the statement said will help improve groundwater quality in the South Platte River watershed.

More Lowry Landfill coverage here.


Attorney General Suthers proposes $1.6 million settlement for Lowry Landfill

June 8, 2010

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

Companies that contributed to pollution at the 508-acre site and now would pay damages to the state, include Molson Coors Brewing Co., ConocoPhillips Co., Gates Corp., Shell Oil Co., Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., Roche Colorado Corp., S.W. Shattuck Chemical Co. and Alumet Partnership. The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District and the cities of Littleton, Englewood and Lakewood also would pay.

State prosecutors focused on lost public use of groundwater. “This settlement provides an equitable and appropriate solution to address the injuries at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site,” state Attorney General John Suthers said. “The agreement will allow Colorado to move forward on resource restoration instead of spending years locked in costly litigation.”[...]

Denver set up the landfill in 1964 using land in Arapahoe County that had been used as a bombing range and conveyed by the federal government. Companies dumped about 138 million gallons of liquid industrial waste at the site near Gun Club Road and East Hampden Avenue between 1965 and 1980. Then, Waste Management Inc. ran the landfill for garbage disposal until 1990. An Environmental Protection Agency investigation in 1994 established the presence of hazardous substances in the groundwater, surface water and soils. A cleanup that began in the mid-1980s — run by the state with EPA supervision — is still incomplete.

The settlements, proposed in U.S. District Court, depend on comments received over a 30-day period. Under one settlement with Denver, Waste Management and Chemical Waste Management Inc., about $500,000 would be used for loans to low- and middle-income households needing sewer repairs to help improve groundwater…

EPA officials monitor efforts to contain and reduce a toxic plume in shallow groundwater, [EPA spokesman Rich] Mylott said. That water is being treated. State and federal cleanup officials have indicated no significant health risk linked to contamination at the landfill.

More superfund coverage here.


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