TENORM overview

The Colorado State legislature passed a bill this session (SB 245) that gives CDPHE the authority to promulgate rules for the safe management of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM). The bill requires us to:
  • Convene a stakeholder group to discuss the development of rules and the impacts the rules might have on various industries.
  • Review TENORM residual management and regulatory limits from other states.
  • Prepare a report that considers background radiation levels in the state, waste stream identification and quantification, use and disposal practices, current engineering practices, appropriate test methods, economic impacts and data gaps.
  • Develop a proposed residuals management rule based on the report.

The report must be provided to the state legislature by December 31, 2019 and we cannot file a notice of proposed rulemaking until the report is presented to the legislature. The rules must be adopted by December 31, 2020.

CDPHE has hired Rule Engineering to research and prepare the report required by SB 245. Rule Engineering will be reaching out to stakeholders to gather input on the items required to be included in the report. Michael Brown of Rule Engineering may be contacted at 303-431-8500 or mbrown@ruleengineering.com to provide information regarding the report.

In July 2018, CDPHE started a series of stakeholder meetings to discuss methodologies for setting standards for the management of TENORM. These meetings continued until mid-September 2018. In August 2018, CDPHE opened a public comment period to accept stakeholder comments on the development of a regulatory framework for the management of TENORM that was set to end on December 31, 2018.

Presentations from July - September 2018 stakeholder meetings

On September 24, 2018, CDPHE received a coordinated request from several stakeholder groups to reschedule the stakeholder meetings until after the draft report required by SB 245 is released (please see CWUC/CMA/COGA letter to CDPHE). Although we continue to believe that this initial set of stakeholder discussions would have been valuable to the ultimate success of this rulemaking process, CDPHE will grant this request. 


We have, therefore, cancelled the TENORM stakeholder meetings scheduled October 1-November 6, 2018. 


CDPHE is also suspending the public comment period until the draft report is released.


The draft TENORM report will be completed in March 2019. Stakeholder meetings will resume shortly after that. 

SB 245 also states that until the new TENORM rules are adopted by the State Board of Health and become effective, the handling, transportation, beneficial use and disposal of TENORM is governed by the Interim Policy and Guidance Pending Rulemaking for Control and Disposition of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material in Colorado, issued by the Department dated February 2007 and the oil and gas waste production guidance letters dated November 7 and November 14, 2017. To view these Interim Governing Documents click on the link below.

Interim governing documents
Interim policy and guidance document as well as information regarding our implementation of the guidance.