Vail Police Department issues citation for depositing waste material into storm drain
The Vail Police Department has issued a citation to a local contractor from Sun-Up Sealcoats for depositing waste material into a storm drain after investigating an incident that occurred Oct. 31.
Police were notified at 4 p.m. Oct. 31 upon the report of an unknown yellow liquid entering Middle Creek from a storm drain near the Vail Public Library. Responders included the police department, Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and the town’s environmental sustainability and public works departments.
Once on scene, responders were able to prevent additional yellow liquid from entering Middle Creek, which flows into Gore Creek. The source of the liquid was determined to be a mixture of water and a water-based paint that was being used to stripe the parking lot at Vail Health. Approximately one-half gallon of this mixture spilled, only part of which entered four storm drains near Middle Creek. The town’s vacuum truck was used to remove the yellow liquid from the storm drains.
The Vail Police Department would like to remind the community that only water should be allowed to flow into storm drains. The penalty for depositing waste material into a storm drain is punishable by a fine of up to $2,650, or by incarceration not to exceed 180 days, or by both such fine and incarceration.
The town budgets more than $1 million annually on water quality improvement projects ranging from native vegetation to stormwater infrastructure. In addition, a Gore Creek hotline, 970-476-GORE (4673) was activated in 2017 to collect citizen tips about possible spills or other incidents involving the creek. Since then, the town has responded to dozens of calls that have resulted in the prevention of pollutants like carpet cleaner and hydraulic fluid from reaching the creek. It is unlawful to dump pollutants into waterways per provisions of the Clean Water Act.