American Institue of Professional Geologist (AIPG)

Institue of Hazardous Materials Management

Mesa County Local
Emergency Planning
Committee (LEPC)

Grand Junction
Small Business Development Center


Certified Hazardous
Materials Manager
(CHMM #11357)

Certified Asbestos
Inspector and Project
(CDPHE 8738)

Petroleum Storage Tank Consultant
(Colorado OPS #5708)

Certified Professional
(CPG 08861)

Professional Geologist


North Denver Regional Landfill – Mr. Baltzer reviewed quarterly operations reports of the North Metro Landfill operations on behalf of the Town of Erie, Weld County, Colorado.  Work included reviewing the reports, checking the reported information against records held by the landfill, and reviewing operations quarterly.  He performed quality assurance and quality control review of laboratory data and formatted the groundwater data for statistical evaluation.  He reported the results of the reviews quarterly to the Town Council including any observed discrepancies or problems.     

On-Site Disposal – Avant has provided environmental and regulatory support for the On-Site Disposal facility, including preparing their Engineered Design and Operations Plan, hydrological report, and annual reports.  Work includes performing statistical analyses of chemical data obtained from disposed waste and monitoring wells to determine if disposed waste was impacting the local aquifers.  Avant worked with a local engineering firm to complete the design of new waste impoundments that conform to the recently-revised Colorado regulations governing produced water facilities and close coordination with the regulating agencies (CDPHE and Rio Blanco County). 

West Garfield County Landfill – Mr. Baltzer was the project manager providing all environmental support services to the West Garfield County Landfill near Rifle, Colorado.  The one-year contract involved designing a new sludge impoundment, performing statistical analyses on groundwater data, collecting groundwater data, installing additional methane monitoring points, assisting the landfill with landfill gas compliance issues caused by methane exceedances at the Certificate of Designation boundary, and reviewing and approving special waste disposal requests on behalf of the landfill.  Several key recommendations were made including performing isotopic analyses of the detected methane to determine if it was landfill gas or leakage from one or more natural gas wells located within the footprint of the landfill.  

Development of Mined Lands – Avant staff identified areas with hazardous levels of lead in soil in a development project in Aspen, Colorado.  The area had been impacted by silver mining, resulting in soil with waste rock that had high levels of lead.  The areas with lead were mapped and a plan to treat the soil under the Colorado Permit by Rule program was prepared and submitted to the CDPHE.  The soil was then either treated to render it non-hazardous with respect to lead and disposed at a landfill, or used as fill in a controlled location on the project, or if the soil was not impacted it was transported off site for use as fill material.  The work allowed the project to be completed on time and within budget despite the presence of regulated levels of lead, and the developed parcel has no contamination issue associated with it.

Pitkin County Landfill – Mr. Baltzer managed an emergency response action at the Pitkin County Colorado landfill where several electrical transformers were placed into the white-goods recycling area.  The transformers leaked fluid that contained regulated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  The fluids were on various discarded appliances and on the sloping ground, with melting snow causing the fluids to spread across the area.  The response included stabilizing the transformers to prevent further leaking, capturing and cleaning up the PCB oil using various techniques, containerizing the wastes, arranging for transport and disposal of the materials, and testing remediated areas to ensure complete removal of the spilled material.  Work was performed rapidly in order to complete all work prior to the arrival of a major storm event that was forecasted for the area that would have obscured the spill and spread the PCBs over a larger area.

West-End Landfill – The Montrose County West-End Landfill near Nucla, Colorado was operated in an abandoned surface coal mine, and was closed shortly after implementation of landfill regulations.  As a result, the landfill had to be closed and monitored in compliance with current landfill regulations.  The County commenced this monitoring in 2000 and Mr. Baltzer managed the project.  For over 10 years he prepared quarterly and annual post-closure reports for the landfill including required statistical summaries.  During this time he negotiated reduced monitoring with the CDPHE on two separate occasions. 

Black Mountain Disposal – The Black Mountain Disposal facility near DeBeque, Mesa County, Colorado is an oil and gas produced water disposal facility regulated by the Colorado solid waste regulations.  Mr. Baltzer provided regulatory support from 1993 until 2000 and again from 2002 through 2006.  Work included groundwater review and statistical analyses and preparing a revised Design and Operations Plan for a new synthetically-lined impoundment.  This required preparing and submitting a Certificate of Designation Amendment to Mesa County which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners and Mesa County Planning.  The facility selected a different consultant in 2007 and soon after was issued a notice of violation (NOV) by the CDPHE.  Due to insufficient response to the NOV, the Board of County Commissioners temporarily closed the facility in the fall of 2008.  Mr. Baltzer was again retained to prepare a Groundwater Compliance Plan for prospective new purchasers of the facility, and through this process helped the prospective purchasers avoid permanent closure and reopen the facility.  Mr. Baltzer then managed the preparation of a Design and Operations Plan that was to bring the facility into compliance with the new Section 17 of the Colorado Regulations Pertaining to Solid Waste Sites and Facilities. 

Mesa County Household Hazardous Waste Roundup – Mr. Baltzer was on the original Mesa County (Colorado) Household Hazardous Waste Task Force, a volunteer group that explored options for managing household hazardous waste, which the regulations allow for disposal in municipal landfills, but which is best to keep out of the landfills.  The task force decided to arrange for a Household Hazardous Waste Roundup which was held at the Mesa Mall.  The public was informed of the roundup which took paint, pesticides, used oil and antifreeze, batteries, and other selected waste.  The roundup was very successful, with over 1% of the county’s population using the service.  By the afternoon, we were overwhelmed with material, and had to turn away many would-be participants, but informed each party about other options for recycling and disposal of their materials.  A second roundup was held one year later, which was larger and capable of accepting all materials.  Soon after the second roundup, the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners approved the permanent household hazardous waste facility currently at the landfill. 

Colorado Asbestos in Soils Rulesmaking Committee - As a representative for the City of Grand Junction, Mr. Baltzer was on the rulemaking committee for Colorado’s asbestos in soils regulations from 2008 through 2010.  In that role he worked closely with CDPHE solid waste unit and hazardous materials management unit personnel and the regulated community, including the City and County of Denver, construction companies, Xcel Energy, Waste Management, the Denver Area Disposal Site (DADS) landfill, the City of Fort Collins, and other parties.  The work resulted in modifications to Colorado’s unique approach to detecting, managing, handling, transporting, and disposing of asbestos-contaminated soil.  The US EPA monitored rules development as a possible model for national rules.  


Independence Townsite VCUP – The townsite of Independence Colorado is located near the summit of Independence Pass near Aspen and was private land located within the Fryingpan Wilderness Area of the White River National Forest.  This status allowed it to be privately developed, in conflict with the surrounding land use.  The Aspen Valley Land Trust worked with the owners and the Forest Service to exchange the land and incorporate it into the wilderness area, preventing future development of this pristine land.  The land had been used to mine and mill gold ore, resulting in various environmental issues including a large mill tailings pile located in the Roaring Fork River.  Personnel now at Avant worked with the Aspen Valley Land Trust and CDPHE to prepare an ESA and a Voluntary Cleanup Plan for identified environmental issues.  The plan directed the removal of the tailings from the river and their placement in a secure location well above the flood plain, and the creation of a wetlands where the tailings pile had been.  A No-Action Determination was rendered by the CDPHE, resulting in the approval of the land exchange.  The chief of the US Forest Service described the project as “the best example of a land exchange” for the year. 

Lenado Historic Mining Area – The town of Lenado, Colorado had been mined for silver in the late 1800s, resulting in a large area with mine waste rock with no vegetation that was eroding into Woody Creek.  The waste rock contained very high levels of lead and other metals.  Staff now with Avant worked with the owners and the CDPHE to prepare a Voluntary Cleanup Plan for the site that re-graded the material, installed erosion control features, and added amendments to allow plant growth.  The high elevation and low rainfall made vegetation growth slow, but sufficient plant growth had been established after ten years, and the CDPHE granted a No-Further Action Determination for the property, allowing its protection in perpetuity from environmental enforcement actions for the mine waste rock, and protecting the Woody Creek watershed. 

Salvage Yard Remediation – Personnel now at Avant assessed the soil and groundwater quality at a former salvage yard and metals recycling facility.  The assessment revealed areas with lead and arsenic impacts to soil and solvent impacts to the groundwater.  After removing impacted soil and buried debris, a petition for No Further Action was submitted to and approved by the CDPHE, allowing re-development of the property as a warehouse.

Bear Creek Open Space – The Town of Telluride acquired historic mining claims in the Bear Creek drainage adjacent to town for preservation as open space, coordinating acquisition through the San Miguel Land Trust.  Environmental concerns identified during acquisition prevented the project from advancing.  Avant personnel formerly working for another company worked with the town, land trust, and CDPHE to quantify the environmental risk.  Work documented that risk was minimal and the land title was transferred to allow perpetual open space designation and prevent future development.


Asbestos in Fire-Damaged Structure – Avant was asked by the owner of a historic church building that had been partially burned down and severely damaged.  Another consultant had made a cursory inspection of the structure and declared all of the material as asbestos-contaminated debris, with a conclusion that it would cost over $500,000 additional to demolish the structure.  Avant inspected the structure and documented that the asbestos was limited, with minimal costs required for remediating the asbestos. 

Asbestos in Apartment Building – An abandoned apartment building was inspected by another consultant and determined to have asbestos throughout, with abatement to cost estimated to be over $1,000,000.  Personnel now at Avant reviewed the inspection report and re-inspected the structure, determining that the previous consultant had been in error and that none of the material he identified as asbestos was actually regulated.  CDPHE personnel visited the site and re-inspected the entire structure, verifying the lack of asbestos.  After substantial negotiations with CDPHE, the owner was granted a demolition permit without abatement, saving the owner about $1,000,000. 


Sound Surveys – Avant personnel have performed sound surveys for various clients including measuring sound levels generated by a race track at nearby residential areas, a beverage warehouse, a radioactive materials remediation project, and several gravel quarries.  Work was performed to document ambient sound levels prior to activities and during activities to ensure that sound levels did not exceed state regulations or local ordinances.  Reports included charts showing sound levels through time, frequency spectra, and sound recordings of sound level exceedances. 

Air Monitoring – Avant personnel have monitored air quality at construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and indoor workplaces such as offices.  Compounds measured have included asbestos, benzene, various metals, total dust, mold spores, volatile hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and other target analytes.  One project involved testing methane generated in wells near a municipal landfill for methane using isotopic analyses and compound spectra to determine if methane was biogenic (from the landfill) or geologic (from nearby methane production wells). 

Tracer Studies – Several tracer studies were performed by Avant personnel for an oil and gas exploration and production company who had spilled several hundred barrels of produced water (brine) and natural gas liquids.  The tracer studies were designed to determine if releases occurred from specific locations and to further define the aquifer characteristics.  Two of the tracer studies showed that the releases did occur from the suspected locations and another demonstrated that the suspected release did not occur from the suspected location.  The first two studies precisely defined aquifer characteristics allowing for design of a targeted remediation system that rapidly remediated the hydrocarbons from the aquifer.  The third study demonstrated to the regulators that a nearby release was not caused by the client and reduced their total fines and negative publicity. 


Abandoned Power Plant – Avant personnel conducted assessment and remediation work at a historic and abandoned power plant in Grand Junction.  The facility variously produced electricity, steam, and ice until the power equipment was removed in the late 1960’s, when the use was changed to transformer repair and other uses.  During equipment removal, asbestos insulation was released into the soil and uranium mill tailings were used as fill material.  These activities resulted in soil that was contaminated with radiation, PCBs, asbestos, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.  A careful assessment of the entire property was used to design a remediation plan that was implemented in several stages over several years.   The facility was ultimately remediated sufficient to allow construction of a bus transfer station and office building. 

Rendering Plant – An animal rendering plant that was undergoing closure was inspected by personnel now at Avant and found to have asbestos building materials, improper waste disposal including dozens of unlabeled drums, a trench used for waste disposal, uranium mill tailings, and other issues.  The waste materials were characterized and properly disposed, the soil and groundwater contamination was assessed and found to be within regulatory standards, and the asbestos was stabilized or abated.  The property was later able to be sold without environmental encumbrances. 

Manufacturing Plant – Staff now at Avant performed assessment and remediation work for a closed electronics manufacturing plant.  PCBs had leaked from transformers, improper solvent management, and use of uranium mill tailings during construction resulted in regulated impacts to soil and groundwater.  The extent of solvent-contaminated groundwater was determined, the PCB spill was cleaned up, and uranium mill tailings were removed from the property under relevant regulations (RCRA, TSCA, and UMTRA).  A successful petition to the state regulatory agency for no-further remedial action status was made and the property was sold for commercial use re-development.



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