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DIA still owes Adams County more than $30 million for noise violations, Colorado appeals judge affirms

It’s not yet clear if the airport will appeal again, this time to the state’s high court
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Posted at 4:42 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 18:42:28-05

Denver International Airport still owes Adams County, and several cities within the county, $33.5 million for noise violations that impacted nearby neighborhoods, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday.

The appellate court concluded that “we discern no error” in a Jefferson County District Court judge’s determination in June 2020 that DIA didn’t properly monitor noise emanating from aircraft during a three-year period starting in 2014 — violating an intergovernmental agreement it had with the county that goes back to when the airport was built more than 30 years ago.

Adams County, along with Thornton, Aurora and Brighton, sued the airport in 2018 over the noise issue, which impacted long-established neighborhoods west and south of the airport. The case went to trial in Jefferson County in the fall of 2019.

The county accused DIA of relying on an arcane and outdated noise modeling system — rather than actual ground measurements — to gauge airport noise. Jefferson County District Court Judge Christie Bachmeyer ruled that DIA’s methodology wasn’t in keeping with the agreement the airport had made with surrounding communities.

“Since Denver has not remedied the violations as required by the agreement, Denver must now make a $500,000 payment for each of the 67 … violations over the three-year period from 2014 through 2016 in the total amount of $33,500,000,” the judge wrote in her June 2020 order.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.