Regulators Cite CDOT Over Runoff From Road Projects

Sat December 10, 2005 - West Edition

DENVER (AP) State regulators have cited the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for allegedly allowing debris from road projects in 10 counties to wash into waterways.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment cited CDOT for failing to plan, manage and inspect storm-water runoff at projects in counties including Arapahoe, Adams, Douglas, Elbert, Larimer and Mesa.

In one instance, at a Boulder County project on U.S. 36, sediment was being flushed into Boulder Creek, regulators said.

“No interim or permanent stabilization practices were in place to control erosion, as required,” the inspector wrote.

CDOT Spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said most of the violations concerned paperwork issues rather than discharge into streams.

However regulators alleged that dirt and debris from road projects polluted the Colorado River in Grand County, an unnamed tributary to Newlin Gulch in Douglas County, Boulder Creek, and the Purgatoire River in Las Animas County.

The Clean Water Act requires that construction projects control erosion and sediment.

Last year, the health department fined CDOT contractors $215,000. Regulators accused contractors of allowing runoff into the South Platte River from the 19-mi. long, Denver-area T-REX construction site to expand interstates 25 and 225.

It was the state’s largest cash penalty for a storm-water violation related to construction activity.

Stegman said CDOT was considering launching a training initiative to educate contractors about storm-water rules.