Environmental Health and Safety
The Environmental Health and Safety Department, housed within Facilities Services, educates and provides support to the Auraria Campus community to prevent and mitigate health and safety impacts on campus.
Training is available for the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and University of Colorado Denver in an effort to make the tri-institutional community safer and more environmentally aware.
- Auraria Campus EH&S Training »
- University of Colorado Denver-specific Environmental Health & Safety information »
Automated External Defibrillator Program
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are in all major campus buildings as a safety measure for cardiac crisis events. These portable devices are located in easy-access points, primarily on the first floor of buildings. In buildings you frequent, please be aware of where you can find the closest AED. The AED will coach untrained responders on operating the device with voice commands. It checks for heart rhythm and will send an electric shock to restore the heart back to a normal rhythm if it is deemed necessary.
The Campus AED Program Guide outlines the availability, maintenance, and proper use of AEDs on the Auraria Campus. In addition, it outlines roles and responsibilities to ensure program compliance and success.
A major responsibility of the Environmental Health & Safety department includes preventing pollution of stormwater drain systems and monitoring illegal dumping of illicit materials into storm drains.
The Auraria Higher Education Center stormwater permit covers all 152 acres of the campus. To monitor the quality of water discharged into waterways, sampling of water discharge, tracking of water flow, and annual inspections of all outfalls into waterways may be done.
Stormwater Program Summary
Stormwater is the water runoff from storms, snow melting, and surface drainage that runs into either storm drains or natural waterways. A stormwater permit is required to authorize discharging the flow of stormwater into rivers, streams, or other water bodies. Stormwater is not treated or filtered prior to being discharged into rivers or streams; therefore, the owner of the storm sewer system is required to take certain measures to minimize the contamination of the stormwater.
- A stormwater permit is issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to give the permitee a guideline of what is required for stormwater drainage into state waterways.
- The Clean Water Act requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to be able to discharge stormwater from the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) in to waterways.
Stormwater Phase II Program
The Auraria Higher Education Center maintains another permit, called a Stormwater Phase II Program. This program uses several techniques to reduce the amount of pollutants discharged, to protect water quality, and to satisfy water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act. These techniques consist of the following:
- Public Education and Outreach: A public education and outreach program reinforces the public’s personal responsibilities in maintaining a clean environment. Responsibilities include taking steps to reduce the pollutants in stormwater, understanding the impact of stormwater on water quality, and reporting any illicit materials in stormwater drainage by phone or mail. Stormwater drains are marked with either stencils or stickers much like the ones shown below.
- Public Participation: Public participation is key to this program. This web page provides information on new developments in the program.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to an MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater. Illicit discharges can come from damaged drain systems, pollution, direct and intentional connections to stormwater drains that do not discharge stormwater, or intentional dumping of illicit materials into stormwater drains. To detect illicit materials, inspections of the outfalls are regularly carried out. Samples may be taken, public inquiries are investigated, and pictures of outfalls will be taken. Once a problem has been reported, the source of the illicit material will be identified. The responsible party will be notified and directed to disconnect the illicit connection. If the offender does not take immediate action to correct the problem, then legal actions will be taken. All actions will be documented and reported in the annual stormwater report.
Construction Site Runoff
Control Construction activities that result in a land disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre are required to have an operator implement an MS4 program to reduce the amount of pollutants in stormwater runoff from the construction site. The program must include an ordinance requiring the implementation of proper erosion and sediment controls, a site plan review of potential water quality impacts, site inspections, and sanctions to ensure compliance.
Post-Construction Runoff Control
Post-construction runoff controls have shown to be the most cost-effective approach to stormwater quality management. Post-construction sediment is easily washed away into stormwater drains. Post-construction runoff controls consist of inspecting completed construction sites, tracking stormwater and waterways connected to newly constructed sites, and reviewing ordinances requiring post-construction runoff controls. Sediments like oil, grease, pesticides, heavy metals, nitrogen, and phosphorus can be left unchecked when a working crew leaves a construction site. Also, waterflow in streams and rivers can be severely altered because new buildings and parking lots add drainage to stormwater sewers, transferring the water to waterways instead of allowing the water to be absorbed by the ground, plant life, and wildlife.
An operation and maintenance program that strictly outlines the procedures and requirements for the MS4 has been put together to help train employees on pollution prevention and good housekeeping practices. Best management practices and measurable goals for the program are also included in the procedures and requirements.
Stormwater Educational Sites
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- EPA Stormwater Best Practices
- Stormwater Best Practices for Cold Climates
- NPDES Stormwater Phase II Final Ruling
- National Stormwater Program Best Practices Database
- Stormwater Education
- EPA Local Watershed Information
Stormwater Applications and Forms
- CDPHE MS4 Permit Application(s)
- CDPHE MS4 Annual Report Templates
- City and County of Denver Construction Activities Stormwater Manual
Resources for other City and State Stormwater Web Pages
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