Public health

At the public hearings for the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the I-70 East project, residents continually expressed concerns about the health impacts from the project. There are many different health impacts and benefits of the project; major effects can be grouped into the categories of transportation choices, air quality, noise, water quality, and hazardous materials.

CDOT promises health benefits to the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, because the project will improve the walking environment, by  increasing the width of sidewalks, improving lighting, and allowing more connections for biking and walking, due to the highway cover. Neighborhood health will also be improved by the highway cover because it provides a place for physical activity and exercise, while also leading to greater neighborhood cohesion. CDOT focuses on neighborhood health impacts related to the highway cover, because it provides a place for physical activity and exercise, while also leading to greater neighborhood cohesion.

On the other hand, air quality has serious effects on health: car  travel emits pollutants into the air, which causes poor air quality around highways, which causes increased childhood asthma rates, impaired lung function, and cardiovascular disease. CDOT has found that while “traffic volume and traffic speed are the primary drivers of project-level air quality impacts,” it has calculated that the project will not contribute to any new violations of the Clean Air Act. Neighborhood and environmental groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over revised environmental guidelines that allowed the project to move forward. These groups claims that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act by allowing a rule change without public input. This rule change allowed the I-70 east project to move forward.

CDOT finds that emissions will be around 80 percent lower than current emissions in the year they are planning for, due to decreased congestion on the highway. However, CDOT has still proposed many measures to mitigate air quality impacts, in the construction and operations stages of the highway. These include providing free air conditioning units, and assistance with additional energy costs, along with new storm windows to residents living close to the highway, from 45th to 47th Avenues, between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard.

Noise will exceed federal standards in several places, including at Swansea Elementary. CDOT will take measures to reduce noise at each location that is expected to have noise levels over noise standards, with interventions like noise walls.

At the public hearings for the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the I-70 East project, residents continually expressed concerns about the health impacts from the project. There are many different health impacts and benefits of the project; major effects can be grouped into the categories of transportation choices, air quality, noise, water quality, and hazardous materials.

CDOT promises health benefits to the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, because the project will improve the walking environment, by  increasing the width of sidewalks, improving lighting, and allowing more connections for biking and walking, due to the highway cover. Neighborhood health will also be improved by the highway cover because it provides a place for physical activity and exercise, while also leading to greater neighborhood cohesion. CDOT focuses on neighborhood health impacts related to the highway cover, because it provides a place for physical activity and exercise, while also leading to greater neighborhood cohesion.

On the other hand, air quality has serious effects on health: car  travel emits pollutants into the air, which causes poor air quality around highways, which causes increased childhood asthma rates, impaired lung function, and cardiovascular disease. CDOT has found that while “traffic volume and traffic speed are the primary drivers of project-level air quality impacts,” it has calculated that the project will not contribute to any new violations of the Clean Air Act. Neighborhood and environmental groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over revised environmental guidelines that allowed the project to move forward. These groups claims that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act by allowing a rule change without public input. This rule change allowed the I-70 east project to move forward.

CDOT finds that emissions will be around 80 percent lower than current emissions in the year they are planning for, due to decreased congestion on the highway. However, CDOT has still proposed many measures to mitigate air quality impacts, in the construction and operations stages of the highway. These include providing free air conditioning units, and assistance with additional energy costs, along with new storm windows to residents living close to the highway, from 45th to 47th Avenues, between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard.

Noise will exceed federal standards in several places, including at Swansea Elementary. CDOT will take measures to reduce noise at each location that is expected to have noise levels over noise standards, with interventions like noise walls.


Public health issues in the area are related to environmental issues that will likely be met during construction.  Issues include air quality, odor, noise, surface water and sediments, groundwater contamination, and soils contamination. One guiding principle in the National Western Center (NWC) Master Plan is to “inspire health and wellness.” This will be accomplished by inspiring healthy and vibrant ways of life through housing, open space and parks, and access to jobs. The NWC will promote recreational opportunities by creating a new series of green spaces and widening Washington St. and Brighton Blvd. to accommodate bike and pedestrian travel .  The NWC will help residents get access to healthy food by opening a year-round market in one if its buildings. It also plans to partner with local businesses and organizations to provide easier ways to get healthy food using proven methods. Educational programs will be part of the NWC and will include opportunities to teach about human and animal health.

Public health issues in the area are related to environmental issues that will likely be met during construction.  Issues include air quality, odor, noise, surface water and sediments, groundwater contamination, and soils contamination. One guiding principle in the National Western Center (NWC) Master Plan is to “inspire health and wellness.” This will be accomplished by inspiring healthy and vibrant ways of life through housing, open space and parks, and access to jobs. The NWC will promote recreational opportunities by creating a new series of green spaces and widening Washington St. and Brighton Blvd. to accommodate bike and pedestrian travel .  The NWC will help residents get access to healthy food by opening a year-round market in one if its buildings. It also plans to partner with local businesses and organizations to provide easier ways to get healthy food using proven methods. Educational programs will be part of the NWC and will include opportunities to teach about human and animal health.


Not since the construction of the I-25/I-70 interchanges has Globeville faced such a significant amount of future redevelopment. As part of the planning for improving the quality of life in Globeville, several organizations including the Department of Environmental Health as well as local leaders worked together to develop a document that describes the potential health impacts of redevelopment on the residents of Globeville.  Currently, Globeville residents face many health challenges due to the neighborhood’s close location to industrial operations and I-70 and I-25. The overall   demographics of the people who live in Globeville  contribute to the lack of equitable health care delivery in the neighborhood. Many things can affect a person’s health.  These things can be divided into categories that include personal, social, economic, and environmental issues. The recent health impact study done in Globeville revealed that, the air, water, and land quality are poor, it is difficult to move around easily and safely in the neighborhood, there is an absence of grocery stores and health care services, and that there are problems with community safety. In addition, due to noise and strong odors produced by industrial operations, and pollution, residents feel stressed and worried in their daily lives. To help solve some of these problems, the Denver City Council adopted a neighborhood plan on December 1, 2014. The newly approved plan is designed to promote better-quality health for residents in Globeville by decreasing the effects of air and noise pollution, improving street networks, increasing the number of retail shops (including grocery stores and necessary services), and making parks and trails easier to get to.

Not since the construction of the I-25/I-70 interchanges has Globeville faced such a significant amount of future redevelopment. As part of the planning for improving the quality of life in Globeville, several organizations including the Department of Environmental Health as well as local leaders worked together to develop a document that describes the potential health impacts of redevelopment on the residents of Globeville.  Currently, Globeville residents face many health challenges due to the neighborhood’s close location to industrial operations and I-70 and I-25. The overall   demographics of the people who live in Globeville  contribute to the lack of equitable health care delivery in the neighborhood. Many things can affect a person’s health.  These things can be divided into categories that include personal, social, economic, and environmental issues. The recent health impact study done in Globeville revealed that, the air, water, and land quality are poor, it is difficult to move around easily and safely in the neighborhood, there is an absence of grocery stores and health care services, and that there are problems with community safety. In addition, due to noise and strong odors produced by industrial operations, and pollution, residents feel stressed and worried in their daily lives. To help solve some of these problems, the Denver City Council adopted a neighborhood plan on December 1, 2014. The newly approved plan is designed to promote better-quality health for residents in Globeville by decreasing the effects of air and noise pollution, improving street networks, increasing the number of retail shops (including grocery stores and necessary services), and making parks and trails easier to get to.


Not since the construction of the I-25/I-70 interchanges have Elyria and Swansea faced such a significant amount of future redevelopment. As part of the planning for improving the quality of life in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, several organizations including the Department of Environmental Health as well as local leaders worked together to develop a document that describes the potential health impacts of redevelopment on the residents of Elyria and Swansea. Currently, residents of Elyria and Swansea face many health challenges due to their close location to industrial operations and I-25 and I-70.  The overall demographics of the people who live in Elyria and Swansea contribute to the lack of equitable health care delivery in the neighborhoods. Many things can affect a person’s health. These things can be divided into categories that include personal, social, economic, and environmental issues. The recent health impact study done in Elyria and Swansea revealed that, the air, water, and land quality are poor, that it is difficult to move around easily and safely in the neighborhoods, there is an absence of grocery stores and health care services, and there are problems with community safety. In addition, due to noise and strong odors produced by industrial operations, and pollution, residents feel stressed and worried in their daily lives. To help solve some of these problems, the Denver City Council adopted a neighborhood plan for Elyria and Swansea on February 23, 2015. The newly approved plan is designed to promote  better-quality health for residents in Elyria and Swansea by decreasing the effects of air and noise pollution, improving street networks, increasing the number of retail shops (including grocery stores and other necessary services), and making parks and trails easier to get to.

Not since the construction of the I-25/I-70 interchanges have Elyria and Swansea faced such a significant amount of future redevelopment. As part of the planning for improving the quality of life in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, several organizations including the Department of Environmental Health as well as local leaders worked together to develop a document that describes the potential health impacts of redevelopment on the residents of Elyria and Swansea. Currently, residents of Elyria and Swansea face many health challenges due to their close location to industrial operations and I-25 and I-70.  The overall demographics of the people who live in Elyria and Swansea contribute to the lack of equitable health care delivery in the neighborhoods. Many things can affect a person’s health. These things can be divided into categories that include personal, social, economic, and environmental issues. The recent health impact study done in Elyria and Swansea revealed that, the air, water, and land quality are poor, that it is difficult to move around easily and safely in the neighborhoods, there is an absence of grocery stores and health care services, and there are problems with community safety. In addition, due to noise and strong odors produced by industrial operations, and pollution, residents feel stressed and worried in their daily lives. To help solve some of these problems, the Denver City Council adopted a neighborhood plan for Elyria and Swansea on February 23, 2015. The newly approved plan is designed to promote  better-quality health for residents in Elyria and Swansea by decreasing the effects of air and noise pollution, improving street networks, increasing the number of retail shops (including grocery stores and other necessary services), and making parks and trails easier to get to.


The River North Plan will bring several improvements to the area that are intended to have a positive effect on public health. Goals for the Plan include improving walking and bike pathways throughout the area, improving the South Platte River corridor, and improving some - but not all - of the existing environmental problems. Improved access for people and bicyclists along the Platte River trail to downtown and to the regional bike trail system are part of this plan. Development of Brighton Blvd. will also add sidewalks and street trees to make it a more pedestrian-friendly corridor. The South Platte River redevelopment has helped to repair its natural environment and added open space along Arkins Court, as well as a walking bridge. The South Platte River corridor presents a green, open-space area that includes a bike trail and the planned Globeville Landing Park. Public health problems in the area, however, are not limited to those caused by environmental issues that already exist in the district, but also include some that will be caused during redevelopment. The quality of the water could be a problem because there are no curbs and gutters along major roadways to provide necessary drainage. There are issues with drainage systems and sewer lines. Water quality concerns stem not only from the lack of curbs and gutters along major roadways, to provide necessary drainage, but also because of soil pollutants leftover from the historical uses of the area. Traffic is also projected to increase by 2-3% per year over the next 10 years, bringing additional air pollution. Homes and businesses will exist alongside one another, causing noise pollution for residents. Studies have been conducted as part of the River North Plan, however the city does not intend to address most of the environmental issues as part of the plan.

The River North Plan will bring several improvements to the area that are intended to have a positive effect on public health. Goals for the Plan include improving walking and bike pathways throughout the area, improving the South Platte River corridor, and improving some - but not all - of the existing environmental problems. Improved access for people and bicyclists along the Platte River trail to downtown and to the regional bike trail system are part of this plan. Development of Brighton Blvd. will also add sidewalks and street trees to make it a more pedestrian-friendly corridor. The South Platte River redevelopment has helped to repair its natural environment and added open space along Arkins Court, as well as a walking bridge. The South Platte River corridor presents a green, open-space area that includes a bike trail and the planned Globeville Landing Park. Public health problems in the area, however, are not limited to those caused by environmental issues that already exist in the district, but also include some that will be caused during redevelopment. The quality of the water could be a problem because there are no curbs and gutters along major roadways to provide necessary drainage. There are issues with drainage systems and sewer lines. Water quality concerns stem not only from the lack of curbs and gutters along major roadways, to provide necessary drainage, but also because of soil pollutants leftover from the historical uses of the area. Traffic is also projected to increase by 2-3% per year over the next 10 years, bringing additional air pollution. Homes and businesses will exist alongside one another, causing noise pollution for residents. Studies have been conducted as part of the River North Plan, however the city does not intend to address most of the environmental issues as part of the plan.


In 2003, the U.S. Center for Disease Control conducted a public health study that focused on the area of the five points neighborhood. The results found that there were large traces of lead and arsenic in soil samples in this area. These results are concerning for parents, since children are more likely than adults to play in and potentially ingest higher levels of dirt. The River North Plan, which strongly focuses on Brighton Blvd, also discusses other environmental and health issues that are cause for public concern, such as the risk of pollution to the groundwater, but no direct solutions are offered in the plan document, itself.

In 2003, the U.S. Center for Disease Control conducted a public health study that focused on the area of the five points neighborhood. The results found that there were large traces of lead and arsenic in soil samples in this area. These results are concerning for parents, since children are more likely than adults to play in and potentially ingest higher levels of dirt. The River North Plan, which strongly focuses on Brighton Blvd, also discusses other environmental and health issues that are cause for public concern, such as the risk of pollution to the groundwater, but no direct solutions are offered in the plan document, itself. 


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