U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- A judge ordered the Metro Wastewater Reclamation
District to pay an environmental activist $425,000 and apologize in a
full-page newspaper ad for retaliating against her.
Adrienne Anderson, a former member of the district's board, filed
a whistle-blower suit in 1997, alleging the board made unfounded
accusations against her, held secret meetings, and threatened to
censure her at a public meeting.
Anderson had challenged the board's decision to accept partially
treated wastewater from the Lowry Landfill Superfund site in Arapahoe
County. Federal Environmental Protection Agency officials have
confirmed low levels of radionuclides were detected in the water.
Federal administrative law judge David Di Nardi said the district
and its board members waged a campaign of defamation against
Anderson. He called it illegal and retaliatory action.
Anderson called the ruling gratifying.
Metro Wastewater District director Robert W. Hite and spokesman
Steve Frank could not be reached for comment.
Anderson had said the district's plan to accept Lowry Landfill
wastewater threatened public health and the environment, a charge the
EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Di Nardi said the board went too far in trying to rebut Anderson's
claims. He said the district impeded access to records and said Frank
made false statements under oath when he denied the district had
retained public relations agents to attack Anderson's credibility.
Di Nardi also said the district circulated derogatory e-mails
The district serves more than 40 Denver-area municipalities and
wastewater treatment systems.
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