Gov. Polis Signs Executive Order to Help Improve Air Quality
DENVER - Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order today that will help improve Colorado’s air quality, protect public health, reduce ozone pollution and address climate change.
“This executive order highlights ozone pollution as the most pressing and immediate air quality issue we face - especially for children, seniors, and other vulnerable populations - and directs the RAQC to come into compliance with health-based standards as soon as possible,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “Today’s action marks an important piece of our administration’s broader efforts to protect the qualities that make Colorado such a special place to call home.”
Regional Air Quality Council Background
Over the past 30 years, the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) has played a leading role in the development of strategies to improve air quality and coordinate air quality planning initiatives for the Greater Metropolitan Area, and more recently, for the North Front Range Region.
Air Quality on the Front Range
While significant progress in improving air quality has been made for many pollutants in the face of a growing population, a booming economy, and increased industrial activity, the state still faces major air quality challenges.
Ozone pollution is the most pressing and immediate air quality issue facing the Denver Metro and North Front Range Region, and poses risks to human health, especially to children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations. This year, we’ve already had 19 days where ozone levels exceeded federal health standards. In 2018, Colorado’s front range experienced 40 days that exceeded health standards.
What the Executive Order Does
Highlights ozone pollution as the most pressing and immediate air quality issue in the Denver Metro and North Front Range Region, and directs the RAQC to act boldly and cost-effectively to ensure compliance with health-based standards as soon as possible.
Directs the RAQC to also take steps to reduce gas emissions in order to mitigate the significant public health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.
Directs the RAQC to prioritize air quality strategies that will promote numerous co-benefits, such as mitigating climate change, improving energy efficiency, reducing traffic and congestion and lowering multiple air pollutants.
Read the full executive order here.