REMOTE, Nov. 16: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is asking the public to weigh in on a permit that will limit pollution and place more conditions on Suncor oil refinery. The draft permit is a more restrictive permit than Suncor previously had. It will further protect Sand Creek and downstream waters for recreation, aquatic life, agriculture, and drinking.The permit aims to increase the transparency of Suncor’s site operations, and implement monitoring requirements and limits for dozens of toxic metals and chemicals, such as benzene and PFAS.

The Suncor oil refinery sits along the bank of Sand Creek near the South Platte River. The property is crossed by the Burlington Ditch, which is an important source of drinking water for Denver’s northern suburbs. Suncor will be required to conduct frequent site inspections, ensure the safety of drinking water transported through the section of Burlington Ditch that crosses its property, improve maintenance operations, and send text notifications when spills occur at the site to parties who subscribe to their text notification program.

“The site has had frequent problems with poor maintenance, spills, and violations, and so we are responding to that by implementing new measures to hold the facility accountable,” said Nicole Rowan, division director, Water Quality Control Division, CDPHE. “We want to hear from the public on this permit because it is intended to protect them from harmful pollutants.”

CDPHE is hosting a virtual educational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. to review the details of the draft permit. Interested parties can use this registration link to attend the meeting.

CDPHE is also accepting public feedback on the draft permit through Friday, February 10, 2022. For more information about the draft permit and instructions for providing feedback, visit our Suncor water quality permit webpage.