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Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009 - page 25 / 41





25 / 41

In 2009, attorneys:

Initiated procedures for natural resource restoration project identification using $35 million settlement of the State’s claim against Shell Oil and the U.S. Army for natural resource damages at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

Approved nearly $1.5 million in proposals to restore natural resources at Rocky Flats.

Recovered 100 cents on the dollar plus interest for the State in the Asarco nation- wide bankruptcy proceeding. Settlement included conveying some Asarco properties to a Colorado environmental trustee. Resolution included natural resources damages, past response costs, and future operations and maintenance payments totaling $16 million for the Globeville site, $4 million for Silverton and $7 million for various other sites including California Gulch, Summitville, and Bonanza. Colorado’s recovery totaled $27 million.

Through training of select State employees, Unit attorneys grew the Natural Resource Damages Program to systematically identify injuries to natural resources of the state, assess appropriate damages, and restore or replace the resources through fair and cost- effective projects.

Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009

  • Facilitated transition of two of the largest used tire storage facilities in the country to new owners. Worked with local officials and the new owners to bring the facilities into full compliance after a decade of regulatory problems.

  • Successfully defended the Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission’s promulgation of regulations effectuating House Bill 08-1414, regarding mandatory liners for oil and gas exploration and production brine waste impoundments.

  • Obtained summary judgment and a civil penalty in litigation against Adams County for misappropriating more than $1 million from a county-controlled hazardous waste fund established to offset state and local governmental costs associated with the Clean Harbors Deer Trail Disposal Facility.

  • Participated in innovative shareholder meetings to address state-wide concerns regarding remediation of contaminated dry- cleaning facilities. As part of this effort, counseled the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on development of criteria for deciding when no further groundwater remediation would be necessary.

  • Counseled Petroleum Storage Tank Fund Committee on creation of subrogation policy to allow the fund to pursue third parties responsible for releases from petroleum tanks.

  • Represented the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in negotiating the cleanup of and the penalty for a pesticide wholesaler who unsafely and illegally stored thousands of gallons of hazardous waste in his backyard for years.

  • Continued to assist the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in drafting regulations on liquid waste impoundment. This ongoing stakeholder process, involving diverse industry sectors and all three of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s environmental divisions. Rulemaking is tentatively set for late 2010.

  • Assisted in establishing a household pharmaceutical take-back program with pick-up locations throughout the Denver metro area and Summit County. This


program protects state waters from degradation by flushed medications and medications improperly disposed of in household trash.

  • Successfully litigated first ever Hazardous and Solid Waste Commission penalty review and obtained reversal of an administrative law judge’s reduction of the Department’s administrative penalty assessment. Defendant had illegally stored and disposed of hazardous waste and failed to inform State and local authorities of his waste-generation activities. The commission determined that a $405,000 administrative penalty was appropriate, reversing the administrative law judge’s drastic reduction of the penalty.

Natural Resource Damages, Restoration and Land Cleanup

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