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Editor’s note: The City of Aspen distributed the following press release on May 23, 2017. 

Aspen, Colorado – The City of Aspen and Colorado Mountain College are pleased to announce their employee, Dr. Liz O’Connell Chapman, has been appointed to the Colorado Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission. O’Connell Chapman is one of nine governor-appointed commissioners tasked with creating regulations regarding solid and hazardous waste, establishing fees, issuing interpretive rules and appeals of laws regarding hazardous waste violations. She is the sole representation on the commission from the Western Slope. Further, O’Connell Chapman brings both an academic and local government perspective to the decision-making process.

“This position is really significant for me because I can help to protect our citizens and natural resources, while providing mechanisms for education about responsible waste management and remediation for irresponsible handling of waste materials.” said O’Connell Chapman, who is also serving as secretary for the commission. “I am honored to be part of this team of professionals and contribute to the sustainability of Colorado.”

The commission has the authority to impose federal rules and EPA requirements but can also adopt more stringent regulations to protect Colorado’s air, water and soil. Recent decisions O’Connell Chapman has taken part in include a revision of rules surrounding composting to encourage more participation in diverting waste through compost activities, as well as setting the rebate for waste tire use and expanding the list of hazardous materials found in Colorado to further protect the public and the environment.

“As an organization we’re proud to see the work Liz does acknowledged.  Her skills and technical experience is an asset for the state.  We know her presence on the Commission will help improve the environmental quality of Colorado,” said CJ Oliver, director of the City of Aspen Environmental Health and Sustainability Department.

O’Connell Chapman will meet with the commission quarterly in Denver at the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. On the docket for future meetings are an evaluation of the Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan and consideration of what recommendations the commissioners believe serve the interests of Colorado, as well as further rules clarifications and amendments.

“We are so pleased that Liz has been appointed to this commission, which will enable her to further enhance the real-world expertise she shares with Colorado Mountain College students,” said Dr. Heather Exby, Colorado Mountain College vice president and campus dean in Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley. O’Connell Chapman is an adjunct faculty member in the college’s sustainability studies program. She teaches, advises students and oversees student internships in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Spring Valley.

As the Senior Environmental Health Specialist for the City of Aspen O’Connell Chapman directs research, influences institutional programs, and creates policies for responsible waste management. She also serves on the Valley Resource Management board, the committee for Waste Free Roaring Fork, the policy committee for the Colorado Association for Recycling, and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America.