Commerce City-North Denver
This page has information on projects in Commerce City - North Denver. We want you to know what is happening and how to get involved. We know we work best when we work as partners with local communities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has a web page about its activities in the community.
CDPHE & EPA Seeking Feedback on Workplan to Implement Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice in Enforcement and Compliance
We want to hear from you about enforcement and environmental justice in Colorado.
EPA and CDPHE are seeking feedback on a joint workplan to improve enforcement and compliance assurance in disproportionately impacted communities.
Let us know how we can deliver results for Colorado communities! We are seeking public comment on the draft Workplan through November 22, 2022.
Suncor information and ways to get involved
We are reviewing Suncor's application for a permit that limits air pollution. This is the Plant 2 Title V operating permit.
Suncor Air Pollution Permit
CDPHE is now soliciting feedback from the public on the draft permit for Plants 1 and 3 at the Suncor refinery in Commerce City. The permit includes additional requirements to reduce pollution and protect public and environmental health, such as new monitoring, testing, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements related to air pollution.
We will monitor comments and review them carefully. It's vitally important that CDPHE hear from community members regarding this permit, as their feedback is critical to the process.
- Click here to read the permit and related documents. (in English and Spanish)
- Click here for guidance on submitting comments.
- You can submit your comments using this form or by emailing email@example.com
Suncor has two permits up for renewal in 2021 that limit the pollution it puts into Sand Creek. The new permits must include requirements and limits for these pollutants to protect Sand Creek. It also protects the water for drinking, recreation, and fish. CDPHE wants input from the public on what is necessary in these permits to protect the creek.
Anyone can give input on any part of the permit and we will consider that input when developing the draft permit. Learn about opportunities to provide feedback. As we draft this permit, we want you to have access to staff to understand what our decision process is, and to know how your input helped influence the decision.
Supplemental environmental projects
In 2020, a court fined Suncor $9 million for air pollution violations at their facility. The fine is because Suncor was not meeting pollution limits and had other violations since 2017. Part of the penalty required Suncor to fund community projects for more than $2.6 million. A community committee picked five projects that will provide more air monitoring and modeling - plus a lot more - in the areas around Suncor. Most of the projects are being run by community organizations from the area. Read about all the projects here.
EPA Optimization Report
EPA recently provided CDPHE with an Optimization Review Report, Remedial Process Optimization Study for the Suncor Commerce City Refinery site. The optimization review is an independent study funded by EPA that evaluates existing data, discusses the conceptual site model, including contaminant distribution and transport, and provides recommendations to optimize the current remedial response and associated site characterization and monitoring. In addition to reviewing the effectiveness of the existing remedy components to address historical hydrocarbon releases, the review focused on data gaps and uncertainties related to PFAS contamination at the site.
Read the report here.
Activities in the area
Globeville/Elyria-Swansea health study
A four-year health study that focuses on health concerns in the communities is underway. A community council guides and gives perspective to the study, and a committee will oversee the study. The selected principal investigator and the team who will conduct the study are based out of Colorado State University. Community meetings are open to the public and are a good way to find out about the study's progress. Visit the study website, linked below, to find meeting information.
More information: GES Health Study web page.
A Superfund site is a place where hazardous waste has been left out in the open, dumped, or improperly managed. There are a few Superfund sites in the area, including Asarco Inc-Globe Smelter and Vasquez Blvd/I-70. The Asarco Inc-Globe Smelter had soil with lead and arsenic that was cleaned up. The Vasquez Blvd/I-70 site had a residential area with lead and arsenic in soils that were cleaned up and has other areas that will be addressed.
A community group makes suggestions for the Vasquez Blvd/ VB I-70 project. The group meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:00pm. Email the group's administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in the meetings.
- CDPHE information on Superfund sites.
- EPA information on Superfund sites.
- EPA environmental data platform. Use the “Search by Location” feature on this website to see environmental activities in your community that may affect air, water, and land.
Activities in the state
State climate change approach
CDPHE worked with government agencies to make a climate change plan. The plan puts in place greenhouse gas pollution targets. It also shows ways to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Climate change impacts people across the state. But Commerce City - North Denver can be especially affected. The plan is Colorado’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Pollution Reduction Roadmap.
Ways to get involved:
- CDPHE is forming a Climate Equity Community Council to help guide this work, beginning this spring. If you’re interested in joining the council, email email@example.com.
- Visit our department's climate change webpage for details on our climate equity work.
Air pollution monitoring
Find general information about air quality in Colorado on the air quality webpage. This webpage looks at air quality within the state. The details about air pollution exposure in Commerce City-North Denver are not available. The details of air pollution exposure in other communities are also not available.
- Denver air quality information
- CDPHE air data.
- Annual air quality data reports.
- CDOT air quality monitoring information
Many residents of the Commerce City- North Denver communities have questions about the chemical, hydrogen cyanide, and the Suncor refinery. Find answers in our Hydrogen Cyanide Questions and Answers webpage.
Water pollution monitoring
We make water quality information available to the public. This includes information about regulated entities, enforcement actions, and sampling data. Anyone can search for water quality information for the Commerce City - North Denver area.
Toxic firefighting chemicals (PFAS) information
Water quality information
- Clean water latest enforcement actions
- EPA Map of facilities with violations
- Water quality public notices
- Water quality in lakes and streams
- Drinking water public water system information, including compliance status
Colorado Air Monitoring Mobile Lab
Our Colorado Air Monitoring Mobile Lab (CAMML) monitored the air around Eagle Pointe Recreation Center in Commerce City from May 14, 2021, to July 19, 2021.
The data is available on our Commerce City - North Denver data dashboard.
The CAMML is a moveable laboratory that continuously monitors the air for pollution. The CAMML collects local data to help us make better decisions to protect health and the environment.
How we conduct CAMML monitoring
- The purpose of CAMML monitoring is to understand potential health risks.
- The mobile lab continuously measures many pollutants including:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene and toluene.
- Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone.
- Particulate matter, such as dust and smoke.
- The mobile lab collects information on wind speed and direction so we have a sense of where pollutants may be coming from.
- Our toxicologists use air monitoring results to evaluate the potential health risks to nearby communities. They do this by comparing monitored air quality values with levels established by EPA and other state and federal agencies. Our health risk assessments and air data is posted on our website after each deployment.
What happens when we find levels above health guideline values
If our measurements identify a pollutant that goes above a health guideline value we will investigate further. Health guideline values are far below levels known to cause harmful health impacts. Measurements above health guideline values do not always mean you will experience health impacts.