Front Range faces pollution battle
August 12, 2008
DENVER ” The Regional Air Quality Council is reviewing a plan to cut ozone pollution along Colorado’s Front Range as the state faces a deadline to tell the federal government how it’s going to clear its air.
The council began reviewing a final draft of the plan Monday.
Last year, a nine-county area along the Front Range, from Douglas County north to Larimer and Weld counties, was declared in violation of federal standards for ground-level ozone.
The state Air Quality Control Commission and Legislature will consider the plan, which must be filed with federal Environmental Protection Agency next spring.
State regulators strengthened rules for the oil and gas industry in late 2006 to reduce ground-level ozone, a key component of smog. Regulators said pollution from oil and gas production has increased with expanded drilling in northern Colorado while emissions from other sources have declined.
Ozone is a health threat to children and people with respiratory problems. It’s created when the sun bakes pollutants such as vehicle exhaust, wildfire smoke and vapors from everything from paint cans to oil and gas wells.