Law School Clinical Program News
Professor, Students Entering Fracking Fray
May 17, 2013
Read the full article here.
CPR interview w/ lecturer Brittany Glidden re: changes to solitary confinement policies
September 17, 2012
Prof. Laura Rovner provides testimony re: solitary confinement to U.S. senators
June 21, 2012
Mother Jones magazine features Civil Rights Clinic solitary confinement case
May 01, 2012
Clinic Newsletter, Spring 2010
April 11, 2012
Prof. Walker Sterling on juvenile life without parole
March 20, 2012
Here’s the quote: “It’s wrong to make a final, irrevocable judgment that a teen will never be suited for release later in life. Because of the brain science we know better.”
Read the full story here.
Clinical Review Newsletter now available
October 26, 2011
University of Denver law students say April showers bring deadly runoff
April 27, 2011
DENVER – For more than a year, Drew Dutcher has lived in the shadow of what neighbors call “Shingle Mountain,” a pile of discarded roofing shingles that may have crossed the line from eyesore to community health menace.
Now, University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law students are demanding the owners of North Denver shingle recycling business Shingles 4 Recycling do something about the 30-foot-high mountain of broken shingles that they say is oozing potentially contaminated runoff onto area streets and possibly into the Platte River.
Working under the guidance of DU’s Environmental Law Clinic director Michael Harris, student lawyers Stephanie Fairbanks and Eric R. Wilson this month sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue to Shingles 4 Recycling on behalf of area residents and environmental activists. If the company doesn’t cut the pile down, and cover it, they plan to file a lawsuit in Federal Court under the Clean Water Act, Harris says.
There are multiple shingle piles around the site, but the largest is visible at the corner of East 51st Avenue and Columbine Street. Harris says neighbors are concerned about runoff from the unsightly debris, which is uncovered and is threatening to spill past damaged container fences.
“Locals call it ‘Shingle Mountain,’ for obvious reasons,” Harris says. “What we see here of course is, for community members, quite an eyesore. But it’s also a potential fire hazard and an environmental hazard. There’s asbestos and other types of metals and organics coming loose, getting into the air, and on a rainy day washing right off into the street here and into the Platte River, which is just 1,100 yards away.”
Even if those materials don’t make it to the river they pose a threat, Harris says. Chemicals and metals left behind on the street are kicked up into the air by passing vehicles and contaminate the area, he says.
Dutcher says residents worry about possible air and water borne contaminants.
“There are just so many questions about it. There are health questions, there are ground water questions, storm water questions, and there are fire questions,” Dutcher says. “What happens in the case of winds, and rain and snow? Where does the runoff go?”
A study prepared for the Construction Materials Recycling Association finds the primary concerns about asphalt shingle recycling is asbestos, used in shingle manufacturing from the 1800s until as late as the 1980s. Health risks from the asbestos are highest for plant workers and nearby residents, the report finds.
The Environmental Law Clinic is representing four residents in the Elyria, Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods of North Denver as well as the 4,000-member nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians.
Harris says the hope is that business owner William Scott will come into compliance within the 60-day notice window without involving regulators. But if the situation isn’t addressed, he says the students are prepared to file a complaint in federal court.