Study: Denver ranks fifth nationally for man-made environmental hazards

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DENVER — The Denver metro area is a great place to live, but it’s also one of the country’s most polluted when it comes to man-made environmental hazards.

Denver’s mining and industrial past might have skewed the numbers a bit. It’s sites like the old Gates Rubber Plant that left its mark on the environment. Demolition is ongoing with plans to turn the site into a mixed-use development.

Denver County ranks fifth in the country for man-made environmental hazards in a study by RealtyTrac, a housing company. It looked at Superfund sites that are old disposal facilities such as the Lowry landfill, brownfield sites such as the Gates Rubber Plant where unauthorized dumping and inadvertent spills occurred, and former drug labs per square mile.

The study also looked at air quality, ranking Denver poor, something the state continues to deal with. Earlier this year, Colorado toughened air-quality rules for the energy industry.

“We all want clean air,” Noble Energy CEO Ted Brown said. “And we believe when you keep methane in the pipeline and out of the air, that’s the right thing to do, that’s the right thing for the environment, that’s the right thing for residents, that’s the right thing for businesses.”
Despite the ranking, Denver County has one of the highest rates of home appreciation. Area realtors say environmental factors haven’t affected home sales or prices.

In the past five years, the average home price in Denver is up 64 percent. And with a red-hot real estate market, chances are that number will continue to climb.




  • wayetsi

    Hope people realize that Denver has had a “brown” cloud over it for centuries BEFORE white men built Denver.
    Black Kettle once said that only a White Man would be foolish enough to build a city here

    • mckillio

      What part of “man made” did you miss? Just because there supposedly has been a brown cloud over Denver for centuries (I’d like some proof of that) doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been made worse by man. This is also talking about environmental hazards which includes a lot more than just the air.

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