We all play a part in improving Colorado’s air quality
Authors: Chris Hansen, Cole Wist - August 29, 2017 - Updated: August 29, 2017
Colorado’s Front Range stands at the brink of being bumped from “moderate” to “serious” nonattainment of the 75 parts per billion ozone standard issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008.
If Metro Denver and the northern Front Range do not meet the standard this summer, the bump-up to “serious” nonattainment could have significant impacts not only on our health but also on our economy. Imagine the disruption if air quality regulators had to take steps to control more sources of emissions, with rigorous reporting and monitoring requirements. Not only would Colorado be a less attractive place to live, it would quickly become a less attractive place to do business.
Only a third of Colorado’s ozone precursor emissions are produced by Coloradans. The rest comes from naturally occurring background sources, other states and even other countries.
But we are confident that by working together across all fronts, Colorado can take the action needed to address this situation and reduce our local footprint while still protecting our economy and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Our major industries and companies have made significant strides to reduce their emissions, and they are committing to future action. Now it is important that we as individual citizens do our part.
We urge you to check out the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s “Clear the Air” program at coga.org/ozone/ and the Regional Air Quality Council’s “Simple Steps, Better Air” campaign at raqc.org/our_programs/ozone_aware/ to learn more about what we can all do to help get Colorado into compliance and moving toward cleaner air. Some steps are as easy as signing up to receive notifications on ozone alert days so you know when not to mow your lawn.
Thank you to the RAQC and to COGA for encouraging us to do our share and for making it easy to know what steps to take.