CU sues contractors over 2008 petroleum leak in Boulder Creek

Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO), March 23, 2011
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The University of Colorado filed a lawsuit against a subcontractor that school officials blame for a 2008 petroleum leak in Boulder Creek that cost the school $58,350 to clean up.

In 2008, the university hired Englewood-based Encore Electric as a general contractor to replace a loading dock lift at the University Memorial Center’s bookstore. Summit Equipment, a Commerce City company, worked as a subcontractor.

CU alleges that the contractors severed underground piping that contained a petroleum substance when they were cutting out portions of the cement ramp. The fluid traveled through a drain in the ramp and was dumped into Boulder Creek.

The Board of Regents — on behalf of CU’s Boulder campus — filed the lawsuit this week in Boulder County District Court.

Officials at Encore Electric could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday and those at Summit Equipment declined comment because they had not yet seen the lawsuit.

CU, in the lawsuit, claims that the contracted workers did not follow cleanup protocols and the leak was reported to the Boulder Fire Department by a passerby who noticed the petroleum flowing into the creek near the Millennium Hotel. The cleanup cost CU $58,354.15, according to the university.

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