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Denver's Environmental Program

Theresa Donahue
City and County of Denver
Dept. of Environmental Health
Environmental Protection Division
1391 Sper Blvd, 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80204
tel: (303) 285-4012
fax: (303) 285-5616
No Internet Link Currently Available

Denver's Environmental Program is a comprehensive effort to protect the health and welfare of Denver citizens and the region's economy through protection and enhancement of environmental quality. Citywide environmental planning and implementation efforts are coordinated with the Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Regional Air Quality Council, and the Clean Air Colorado program. 

Program Highlights 

To improve environmental quality, the city of Denver has initiated the following initiatives: 

Air Quality Protection 

  • The mandatory conversion of the government fleet of vehicles to alternative fuels.
  • A ban on leaded gas.
  • Restrictions against idling vehicles.
  • A complete prohibition on "smoking" vehicles.
  • The creation and enforcement of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
  • The implementation of a city employees' commute reduction program.
  • Ongoing inspections of stationary sources of pollution and permitting of new or modified sources.
Energy Efficiency 
  • Participation in the EPA's "Green Lights" program.
  • A mortgage program benefiting the purchasers of energy-efficient homes.
  • Implementation of energy reduction measures in city facilities.
Water Quality/Conservation 
  • The implementation of an ongoing program of stream and lake sampling and a special study of South Platte River water quality.
  • Encouragement of water conservation efforts through public education and advertising campaigns.
  • Promotion of xeriscaping (planting vegetation that requires little water) and low-flow plumbing programs.
  • Conversion to a consumption-based fee schedule for water service.
Pollution Prevention 
  • The promotion of efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle through the extensive measures incorporated into the construction and operation of the Denver International Airport.
  • The implementation of a citywide business recycling and "purchase recycled" programs.
  • The creation of an extensive geographic information system (GIS) for disclosing potential cumulative environmental impact problems.
  • The implementation of an Industrial Zoning Review process for new and expanded industrial activity.
Global Warming 
  • Denver participates in the United Nations carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction program, and regulates chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) sale and use.

Vital Statistics
  • Program Management/Partnerships: The Denver Environmental Program is managed by the City and County of Denver, through cooperation with numerous government, commercial and nonprofit organizations. 

  • Budget: The latest figures are available by contacting the program. 

  • Community Served: The more than two million residents of the Denver statistical metropolitan area. 

  • Measures of Success:
  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 10 million pounds through the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Lights program.
  • Recycled more than 430 tons of scrap metal and 250 tons of office paper.
  • Reduced hazardous solvents use in fleet maintenance by 50,000 pounds.
  • Conserved nearly 16,000 acre-feet of water through efforts of the city and residents.
  • Converted 500 government vehicles to an alternative fuel system.
  • Created a Green Fleets transportation program.

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