The Home Front: ‘Boulder County does not have a previously undisclosed Superfund site’

“The recent notice in the Federal Register could be somewhat alarming on the face of it, given its consecutive use of ‘Superfund site’ and ‘Boulder County’ in the same sentence,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “But local officials and the Environmental Protection Agency agree that the Federal Register item is misleading, because, although a local environmental cleanup project is in the offing, Boulder County does not have a previously undisclosed Superfund site. The July 20 notice in the Federal Register — billed as ‘The Daily Journal of the United States Government’— carried the heading “Proposed Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent, Black Swan Restoration Reach Good Samaritan Superfund Site, Boulder County, Colorado.’ … Duc Nguyen, the EPA’s federal on-scene coordinator for the project, said use of the word “Superfund” was not accurate, and that the authors of the notice ‘I think did not have enough information.'”

“An Oregon project to build a liquefied natural gas export facility would be a boon to the Western Slope, a group of local economic development and elected officials told Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton on Wednesday,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The state’s current treasurer said he understands that and intends to fully support the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project as other elected officials have, regardless of political affiliation, ranging from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican.”

“The New Year’s Eve shooting death of a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy has reignited the debate over the mentally ill and gun ownership in Colorado after two reports released last week laid out a step-by-step account of the killer’s mental state and the arsenal he kept in his apartment,” reports The Denver Post. “Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock and 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, who is the Republican candidate for state attorney general, said they want to renew efforts to create a ‘red flag’ law in Colorado that would allow guns to be confiscated from the severely mentally ill. And they want to use the case of Deputy Zackari Parrish in a second legislative effort to change the state’s mental health hold laws to make it easier for law enforcement to take a person having a mental health crisis into custody. ‘The status quo is not working,’ Brauchler said. ‘Should we change the status quo to accommodate this reality that we have an increasing number of people who are in this mental health crisis who have access to weapons who can hurt themselves or hurt others? The answer is yes, and we must take the steps.'”

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea is continuing to make ‘fissionable material’ for its nuclear weapons but told Sen. Cory Gardner he would prefer to discuss behind closed doors what steps the U.S. is taking to get North Korea to dismantle those weapons,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Pompeo gave his testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, focusing on President Donald Trump’s recent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Gardner, R-Colo., focused especially on North Korea and whether it was reducing its nuclear weapons capability. Under questioning, Pompeo insisted it is still U.S. policy to apply ‘maximum pressure’ on North Korea to give up its nuclear program, and he claimed the Trump policy is tougher than the efforts under the Obama and Bush administrations.”

“Every two years, Vail conducts a community survey,” reports Vail Daily. “The 2018 edition showed the town is doing a lot right. But there may be more enthusiasm for town housing efforts outside the city limits. The survey is conducted by RRC Associates, a Boulder-based research and consulting firm. This year’s survey showed strong support — 46 percent strongly support and 30 percent somewhat support — for town involvement in cooperative, deed-restricted housing projects outside of town. A total of 70 percent support allowing developers to meet their obligations for deed-restricted housing outside the town boundaries.”

“Samantha Sweetman and her family have traveled to Boyd Lake State Park about four or five times a year for the last five years,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “But, the Brighton family’s most recent trip two weekends ago was a little weirder than most. On July 14, Sweetman, her husband and son, and about 20 other family members and friends were celebrating a summer weekend together on their third trip to Boyd Lake so far this year. While the family was getting ready to go boating, Sweetman said her 5-year-old son Dalton kept telling her he saw a dead octopus on the beach. ‘He told me about five times before I actually looked,’ Sweetman said. ‘But when I finally walked over there, it was definitely an octopus.’ Over the course of the day, the family found two more unexpected, deceased cephalopods, Sweetman said. They guessed someone might have been using them as catfish bait.”

“Longmont city government has purchased $3,220-worth of noise-canceling headphones to alleviate for Civic Center staff a distracting cacophony caused by jackhammer drilling during renovations to the structure,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The sound of a jackhammer was clearly audible inside the Civic Center on Wednesday as well as over the phone during a call to the city’s utility billing department. Vibrations also can be felt in parts of the building during drilling, which is part of a $5 million renovation to the Civic Center started in May to reinforce the concrete slab over the underground parking garage that is the structure’s foundation, among other upgrades.”

“The Milner Landfill, operated by Twin Enviro Services, will be allowed to continue to accept liquid waste, including waste from oil and gas production, after Routt County commissioners voted to amend a land use permit for the facility,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The landfill’s permit was reviewed in light of a violation notice issued by the state earlier this year. Several of these violations impact the landfill’s solidification basin, the pool where nonhazardous liquid waste is mixed with coal ash to solidify it so it can be thrown away.”

“Debris lay strewn for about 50 yards on the side of U.S. 34 early Wednesday night after a pickup left the roadway and rolled about a mile east of Kersey, killing one person and critically injuring three,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “According to Sgt. Matt Turner of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, authorities received a call about the single-vehicle crash at 5:48 p.m. Wednesday. After arriving on the scene, deputies determined a white Dodge Ram was traveling west on U.S. 34 when it exited the north side of the roadway and rolled, ejecting three people. A fourth person trapped in the pickup had to be extricated. Turner said authorities didn’t have more information about the victims, as they were taken to the hospital quickly. One person was pronounced dead on the scene. The other three were taken to North Colorado Medical Center in critical condition, Kersey Police Chief David Gottschalk said.”

“The Fremont County Department of Public Health & Environment was notified Wednesday of a positive rabies case,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “According to information provided by the FCDPHE, the rabies was found in a bat that was dropped off at the Humane Society and was recovered by the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. The bat originally was found at a Cañon City residence. Officials with the FCDPHE remind Fremont County residents to make sure dogs and cats are current and up-to-date with all of their vaccinations, especially rabies and distemper, and other required or recommended vaccinations.”

“Responses from a voluntary, anonymous survey on risky teen behavior show suicide remains a pressing concern, along with underage vaping, which is mistakenly believed to be less risky than smoking cigarettes,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. ‘This survey provides a tremendous amount of data that is essential in following trends and developing programs and plans moving forward to meet the needs of our youth,’ Robin Johnson, medical director of El Paso County Public Health said in an email.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.