Headlines – June 12, 2023 benita
EPA: Suncor Has More Air Quality Issues Than Similar Refineries
The Suncor oil refinery in Denver has more air quality incidents compared with 11 similarly operated refineries across the country. That’s according to a report released Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA officials said Suncor’s issues may be due to lack of preventative maintenance, testing and equipment inspections. The study follows up on Suncor’s $9 million settlement with the state and EPA filed in 2020 to resolve emissions and other environmental and health violations that threatened the surrounding community.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment participated in the study. CDPHE officials indicated they will use the EPA’s analysis to help guide future inspections, and permit updates. The state health department is also expected to create a new oil refinery expert role to oversee accountability.
Denver Closes Migrant Emergency Center, Citing Fewer Arrivals
The City of Denver is winding down its migrant Emergency Operations Center as the pace of arrivals from the U.S.-Mexican border has slowed down. In a press release Friday, the City said the Denver Department of Human Services will soon manage migrant sheltering.
Officials activated emergency services in December and in May to help hundreds of migrants arriving in Denver as the COVID-era Title 42 policy blocking border crossings came to an end.
According to Denverite, just 30 people arrived from the border Friday. The City and partner facilities are currently sheltering some 700 migrants.
The city has supported over 11,000 migrants at a cost of almost $18 million and is seeking volunteers and donations to help support its programs. State and federal donations have kicked in a fraction of that cost, at around $4.5 million.
Boy Falls Off Tube In Boulder Creek And Drowns
A nine-year-old boy was reported missing just before 5 p.m. Sunday as he was tubing in the Boulder Creek with his parents. First responders found the boy minutes later and pulled him from the water near Broadway and Canyon Boulevard. After administering CPR, they transported him to Boulder Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His parents were treated for minor injuries.
According to a press release, City officials urge members of the community to exercise caution around Boulder creeks, especially during run-off season.
Hickenlooper Pushes For Electric Buses That Can Help Charge Grid
U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper urged fellow lawmakers last week to consider a bill that would create electric school bus fleets nationwide that could also be used to power the grid.
The BIDIRECTIONAL Act is co-sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet, as well as other U.S. senators from Nevada, Minnesota, and Maine. The plan would create a Department of Energy program focused on providing communities with electric school buses that could also act as vehicle-to-grid, or V2G energy sources.
Hickenlooper’s bill would require state utility commissions across the country to consider ways to promote V2G use. Under the bill, U.S. energy officials would also analyze and report on the performance of bidirectional buses deployed in pilot programs.
Denver Opens Up Two New Public Green Spaces
Denver has two new green spaces for public use. The National Western Center and Colorado State University in Elyria-Swansea inaugurated six acres of community open space called the “Riverfront” along the South Platte River last week.
Picnic tables, trails and a 250-person outdoor theater replace what was once a tangle of wastewater pipes, railroad tracks and livestock pens.
The park is part of the National Western Center’s redevelopment plan. Denver voters passed a measure in 2015 approving plans that would transform the site of the annual, two-week National Western Stock Show into year-round spaces for “agriculture, education and entertainment.”
The Center also welcomed the community to CSU’s new outdoor space, called the “Backyard,” which is connected to the “Riverfront” by a walkway. The CSU satellite also has a new water quality lab in its Hydro building.