Over my 41 years in Colorado, I’ve had the pleasure of serving the public in some capacity for 39 of them. From being the mayor of Hayden, to a Moffatt County Commissioner, and most importantly, a fly-fishing guide and shop owner, I have always found that I am happiest while serving the public’s interest. So, it came as a great privilege to be appointed to this commission back in 2014, and I look forward to what lies ahead. As a resident of northwest Colorado and having long recreated in the outdoors, air quality is an important issue to me, and I have worked personally and professionally to ensure that the air we breathe is as clean as possible. Being a part of this commission has allowed me to understand the breadth and diversity of the air quality issues around the state. From wildfire smoke in the mountains, to vehicle exhaust in our cities, to the huge increase in oil and gas activities near where people live, I’ve learned that there are no simple solutions to these complex problems. That’s why I’m proud to be a part of an air commission that has accomplished so much in recent years, and we could not have done it without the incredible efforts and cooperation of all our dedicated partners and stakeholders, especially the Air Pollution Control Division.
Air quality has greatly improved over the years, but we still have so much to do. Ozone issues still plague the Front Range, and greenhouse gas emissions are far too high. I’m happy to say, however, that the commission along with the staff of the Air Pollution control Division have undertaken a number of activities this past year to address many of our air quality challenges, including:
Establishing a low emission vehicle standard and a zero emission vehicle standard for the state, which will reduce GHG emissions and ozone forming emissions considerably;
Established reasonably available control technology requirements for major sources of NOx and VOCs in the nonattainment area;
Adopted VOC content limits to reduce state-wide emissions from consumer products and architectural and industrial maintenance coatings;
Hosted an air quality and health symposium with the Colorado School of Public Health;
Holding its annual retreat in Lamar and soliciting public comment on regional air quality concerns. The Commission also toured a facility that makes Portland cement and a wind turbine tower manufacturer.
This coming year the commission will focus its attention on:
Considering additional oil and gas measures to reduce VOC and methane emissions from the sector in accordance with the directives of SB 19-181
Reducing NOx emissions from stationary engines, especially from those that are very high emitting;
Improving the state’s greenhouse gas inventory for better tracking of progress
Collaboration with other commissions and state agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to satisfy the legislative directives of HB 19-1261 and SB 19-096.
I hope this report proves useful and informative to you. Please remember that we all play a part in cleaning up the air quality where it needs improvement and preserving good air quality where it already exists. Now, let’s get outside and enjoy this wonderful state and all it has to offer.