Part 20 TENORM regulation

Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM)

Include radionuclides that have been in the rocks and minerals of the earth's crust since it was created. They can also be produced by interactions between atoms in the atmosphere and cosmic rays.

Technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM)

Are produced when activities such as water treatment or oil and gas exploration and production operation concentrate radioactive materials that occur naturally in ores, soils, water or other natural materials.

Background information

In 2018, the Colorado State legislature passed a bill (SB 245) that gave CDPHE the authority to promulgate rules for the safe management of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM). The bill requires the Department to:
  • Review TENORM residual management and regulatory limits from other states.
  • Prepare a report that considers background radiation levels in the state, waste stream identification and quantification, use and disposal practices, current engineering practices, appropriate test methods, economic impacts and data gaps.
The following documents were used as part of the rule development process:

On November 18, 2020, the Board of Health adopted the proposed new Part 20 TENORM rule.
The Part 20 TENORM rule became effective on January 14, 2021, and is available on the Colorado Secretary of State website. As specified in Section 20.1.3.B of Part 20, the requirements and provisions of the new rule are not enforceable until July 14, 2022, thereby providing time to implement the rule.

The Part 20 TENORM regulation addresses the following topical areas:

  • Generation, handling, processing, transfer, receipt, transportation, disposal, possession, distribution, and beneficial use of TENORM.
  • Exempt Levels of TENORM.
  • Registration for TENORM generators, beneficial uses, and disposal facilities.
  • Specific Licensing of TENORM.

With assistance and input from impacted stakeholders, the Radiation program continues its efforts to develop guidance to assist in the implementation of the Part 20 TENORM regulation. Refer to the guidance development page for further information and current stakeholder processes.

Contacts