Suthers settlement steered at superfund site

Keith Loria Jun. 8, 2010, 2:39pm


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has reached two settlements with entities that allegedly contributed waste materials to the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, his office announced on Monday.

The settlement is expected to save what could have been a long and costly trial, since it would have been difficult to determine exactly what each defendant contributed to the natural resource damage, Suthers said. The settling parties include the Lowry Landfill owner, operator and parties that delivered waste materials for disposal at the site.

"This settlement provides an equitable and appropriate solution to address the injuries at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site," Suthers said. "The agreement will allow Colorado to move forward on resource restoration instead of spending years locked in costly litigation."

One settlement requires all companies and entities that contributed waste materials to pay the state a sum total of more than $1.1 million, which will assist the state and its partners in restoring state natural resources and compensate for injuries to the groundwater at the 508-acres site.

The state and the city and county of Denver, Waste Management of Colorado and Chemical Waste Management, Inc., have agreed to a second settlement that will require parties to pay the state $500,000. This money will be directed towards a revolving loan fund for low- to middle-income households needing sewer repairs, which will improve groundwater quality in the South Platte River watershed.

Lowry Landfill Superfund Site was the principal landfill for the Front Range as well as the industrial landfill for numerous Colorado companies, accepting solid and liquid waste from 1965-1980 and solid waste from 1980-1990. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a record of decision on the site's contamination in 1994 and started to implement a remediation plan, which continues today.

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