Search Site

Report: Colorado Air Quality Division Gave Permits Despite EPA Standard Violations

Colorado’s Air Pollution Control Division allegedly issued multiple air quality permits to facilities despite predictive models demonstrating those facilities could violate pollution standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

These findings were released in a report from the Colorado Attorney General’s office.

Case background

In response to the report, state health officials say they lacked sufficient guidance from the EPA to know when they should estimate whether the state’s polluters could exceed air quality limits on certain pollutants. Managers from the Division said there was no intention to violate the law.

However, the manager of the division, Garry Kaufman, failed to disclose multiple conflicts of interest he had with a Teller County gold mine for more than two and a half years.

The investigation began after a group of three whistleblowers who had worked for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment submitted a complaint about the issue, as well as claims of fraud and suppression (which ended up being unsubstantiated). The whistleblowers alleged Kaufman told managers to tell employees they should not review or model these projected emissions for smaller facilities for any particulates less than 2.5 micrometers, or for gases like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, all of which lead to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone.

Federal guidelines for smaller polluters can be unclear, according to the report.

If you become aware of wrongdoing within your organization, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to determine what legal options you have moving forward.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.