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Lawsuit Claims Company Dumping Dangerous Pollutants In Platte River

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DENVER (CBS4)- There are allegations that a company is filling a popular swimming and kayaking area in Denver with dangerous pollutants.

A lawsuit claims the company, a former chemical site, is dumping contaminants in the Platte River which could cause health problems for people who use Confluence Park.

Environmentalists call it one of the most polluted sections of any river in Colorado.

Confluence Park (credit: CBS)

Confluence Park (credit: CBS)

When asked how she feels when she sees people swimming in the water, WildEarth Guardians spokeswoman Jen Pelz replied, “It concerns me because I wouldn’t let my kids swim in that water and I don’t think people have the information they need to know.”

According to WildEarth Guardians the water is contaminated by a cleanup site located four miles upstream.

Pelz said concentrated levels of arsenic and acidic water flow underground from the site into the South Platte River.

Her organization is suing the contractor, demanding work be completed to keep a former chemical site from seeping into the river.

“They capped the facility and they took some of the material that was there and pulled it out but for the most part just covered it up,” said Pelz.

The suit also claims the contractor, Irg Bayaud, continually violated the Clean Water Act for nearly 2,000 consecutive days but is now claiming no responsibility and moving on without fully resolving the problem.

“Clearly it’s their responsibility to do more. They need to pump and treat the water that’s seeping into the river,” said Pelz.

WildEarth Guardians claim the contractor owes more than $37,000 for every day a violation occurs.

The contractor did not return calls for comment on this story.

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