Born and raised in Denver, I have vivid memories from the 1970’s of descending into the metro area’s infamous brown cloud after family sojourns in the mountains. While at times the air still doesn’t look that good, over the long term, the overall improvements in air quality in the state are really dramatic, especially given the tripling of the state’s population in my lifetime. I’m proud of all the efforts our citizens, state agencies, local governments, activists, and regulated communities have undertaken to protect and improve our air quality.
The most significant air quality issues have changed over the years and perhaps have become more challenging. To address those challenges, the commission along with the dedicated staff of the Air Pollution Control Division have undertaken a number of activities this past year including:
Revising the ozone State Implementation Plan (SIP) to require more frequent inspections of oil and gas facilities and other emission control measures in the Denver Metro/North Front Range ozone nonattainment area.
Initializing a stakeholder process to identify other possible emission reductions at oil and gas facilities that might be applied across the rest of state and a task force to examine additional controls on pneumatic devices.
Revising the SIP to impose Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements on existing major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Holding its annual retreat in Montrose and soliciting public comment on regional air quality concerns. The Commission also toured a facility that captures waste methane from a coal mine and uses it to generate electricity.
This coming year the Commission will focus its attention on:
Considering greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant standards for new light-duty and medium-duty motor vehicles. The Commission has also directed the Division to propose a separate regulation requiring that a certain percentage of new motor vehicles be zero emission vehicles.
Convening a conference on the health effects of different types of pollutants.
Revising the procedural rules that govern Commission rulemaking hearings.
Adopting rules to implement revised fees for sources of air emissions to insure the Division has the resources necessary to fulfill its mission.
I hope that your exploration of this report proves informative and inspires you to contribute to our efforts to provide clean air for all Coloradoans.