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Legislative Update from Citizens For Clean Air

 | Published on 2/27/2020

The state Air Quality Control Commission has important decisions coming up this spring:

One critical measure requires that the Commission reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC).  Legislated by the state in 2019, the law mandates that the Commission develop science-based, cost-effective regulations to address climate change.

Coloradans on the Western Slope experience the effects of global warming close to home, as we witness more frequent and dangerous wildfires along with seasonal changes in temperatures, snow and rainfall and other variations that threaten our air, water and the surrounding lands and wildlife we so cherish.

HFCs have very high global warming potential and are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases. They include refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, foam insulation and aerosol propellants.
 

The GHG (Greenhouse Gas Reporting) and HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon) Phase-out Rules are now being drafted by the state, and the Commission must solicit input from a variety of stakeholders before making a decision whether or not to pass the rules for implementation. Citizens for Clean Air invites the League of Women Voters of Mesa County to join us in encouraging fast, bold action. In the past we have learned that our comments do influence decisions!

The Commission will have another rulemaking to consider this spring: Regulation 9 applies to all open burning activity throughout the state. Proposed changes are mostly clarifications and updates to the existing regulations, and include restrictions on burning in barrels, pile burning and what items are allowed.

It is important to note that local governments can strengthen these state regulations, but cannot weaken these and other state regulations.

Mesa County Public Health, following the lead of the City of Grand Junction, are to be commended for their efforts that began in 2018 to implement a permitting process and rules that go beyond state regulations. Mesa County rules educate and instruct residents on how, what, when and where it is legal to burn. For more information, see https://apps.mesacounty.us/BurnPermits/Form.

Both Open Burning and especially GHG/HFC rulemakings will offer opportunities for public and stakeholder feedback. We encourage participation in what will essentially shape our future quality of life.

For updates and opportunities to engage at whatever level at which you feel comfortable, contact citizensforcleanairgj@gmail.com or visit www.citizensforcleanair.org.