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Shut down suncor

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Suncor Energy, a Canadian company, runs an oil refinery that is one of Colorado's largest emitters of toxic air pollutants. Despite numerous enforcement actions, the refinery has been operating without any changes to its operations or pollution controls for years. Due to it's production of __, the company's actions remain unchecked.  However, the refinery continues to put neighboring communities, who are primarily Latine and low-income, at extreme risk.


Data from the CDPHE showed high levels of air pollutant, PM2.5 from the Suncor refinery plant. This air pollutant is extremely harmful and may correlate with increased respiratory diseases. “Exposure to PM 2.5 … over a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular disease-related mortality and nonfatal events; longer-term exposure (e.g. a few years) increases the risk for cardiovascular mortality to an even greater extent than exposures over a few days and reduces life expectancy … by several months to a few years.” [Brook et al., 2010].

Our response

Spirit of the Sun teamed up with our partners Cultivando and Womxn from the Mountain in a restorative justice effort to protect the communities and land being disproportionately harmed by the impacts of Suncor. Together we created a public campaign to urge US EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, to investigate and act on Suncor's violations. We also created a user-friendly form that allowed the community to send letters to Region 8's EPA local office asking for a shut down of the facility. Through a layered outreach strategy, we disseminated information throughout our communities about the harmful effects of Suncor's toxins on our human and more than human relatives in and beyond Commerce City.  


Spirit of the Sun, together with our community partners Cultivando and Womxn from the Mountain, co-created a short film about the impacts of the Suncor Refinery on communities of color in Commerce City. 

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