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Breckenridge Sanitation earns EPA Environmental Achievement Award

Release Date: 04/13/2006
Contact Information: Eddie Sierra 303-312-6404 Randy Brown 303-312-6048

State of art facilities for sensitive mountain environment

(April 13, 2006 – Denver, Colo.) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator for Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice Eddie Sierra today presented EPA’s Environmental Achievement Award to Breckenridge Sanitation District officials for the significant and lasting influence they have made on the protection of water quality in the Upper Blue River Basin.

“The people who have led the Breckenridge Sanitation District over the past several decades have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the protection of this vital river basin,” said Sierra, in making the presentation at sanitation district offices in Breckenridge today.

During the District’s 40-year lifespan numerous initiatives have enhanced the protection of the basin’s water quality. The District owns and operates five advanced wastewater treatment facilities in the Upper Blue River basin and has been the recipient of numerous environmental awards including five national and five regional Clean Water Act awards in operation and maintenance.

One example of the District’s initiatives is the construction of the Iowa Hill Water Reclamation Facility, which created for the first time a winter stream flow in a segment of the Blue River that had been extensively dredged during the late 1800s. The winter stream flow allowed for the dilution of heavy metals being discharged from the Wellington-Oro mine.

In another example, the District entered into an agreement with the Climax mine for the disposal of biosolids on the mine’s contaminated tailings, which led to the reclamation of those tailings.

The District’s dedication to protecting water quality resulted in numerous additional initiatives. One standout is the design and construction of treatment facilities to meet peak three-day loading instead of the required 30-day loading, an advance that resulted in constant compliance with all of the District’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits.

EPA Region 8 presents awards in four categories to individuals and groups. This award recognizes significant achievements in the protection of public health or the environment and in advancing the Agency’s strategic goals. Among the criteria is an outstanding contribution to environmental protection through a single action, or by an ongoing action over an appreciable period of time.