Denver Airport gets green status

Denver International Airport has been awarded membership in the
Environmental Protection Agency’s Performance Track, a voluntary program
that recognizes facilities that consistently exceed regulatory requirements
and excel in protecting human health and the environment.
  “Denver International Airport is not only one of the busiest aviation
facilities in the world, it is one of the greenest,” said EPA Assistant
Regional Administrator Steve Tuber. “With a state-of-the-art Environmental
Management System that covers everything from alternative-fuel vehicles to
deicing fluid recycling, the airport is living up to its reputation as an
industry leader and a community asset.”
  To qualify for Performance Track, facilities must adopt and implement
an Environmental Management System; demonstrate specific past environmental
achievements; record sustained compliance with environmental requirements,
and commit to continued environmental improvement, public outreach, and
performance reporting.
  DIA has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) to reinforce
environmental programs which outline a series of guidelines, policies, and
processes that address environmental impacts in day-to-day business
activities. The Denver Department of Aviation, which operates DIA, is
committed to protecting the environment and supporting the City of Denver’s
environmental goals through participation in the city-wide initiative
Greenprint Denver.
  DIA’s EMS includes comprehensive solid and hazardous waste reduction
and recycling, air emissions management, and stormwater management
programs. One example of the airport’s environmental accomplishments is a
more than 75 percent reduction in hazardous waste generation from 2003 to
2005. This large reduction is the result of product substitution, including
the elimination of oil-based paints and thinners. In addition, for the
2005-2006 deicing season, DIA recycled more than 370,000 gallons of
aircraft deicing fluid at its onsite glycol recycling facility.
  Performance Track members also focus on opportunities for continual
improvement. DIA has committed to a one percent annual decrease in gasoline
used in its fleet vehicles each year. These reductions will result from the
purchase of additional electric/gasoline hybrid or CNG/gasoline vehicles as
replacements for older fleet vehicles and employee education regarding the
idling of engines. The airport has also set goals of a five percent annual
decrease in total disposed solid waste per passenger and reducing total
energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10 percent by 2008.
  Performance Track members receive a range of incentives such as public
recognition and low priority for routine EPA inspections. Facilities are
also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and
streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable
members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members
benefit from special services, including a learning network, composed of
top environmental performers, that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars,
and EPA roundtable discussions.