Environmental Protection

Colorado's Air Plan Earns Final OK

Included in the plan is the 2010 Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, which is intended to set emissions controls, retire inefficient coal power plants, and convert certain electric generating units from coal to natural gas.

Colorado's State Implementation Plan for Regional Haze has won full approval from EPA, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Sept. 11. The plan is a package of pollutant emission reduction strategies.

"The EPA's approval of the Regional Haze Plan is a ringing endorsement of a comprehensive and collaborative effort between many different groups," Hickenlooper said. "Colorado's utilities, environmental community, oil and gas industry, health advocates, and regulators all came together to address air quality. We embrace this success as a model for continuing to balance economic growth with wise public policy that protects community health and our environmental values."

Included in the plan is the 2010 Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, passed by the Colorado General Assembly and intended to set emissions controls; retire old, inefficient coal power plants; and convert certain electric generating units from coal to natural gas. By 2018, the plan will result in more than 70,000 tons of pollutant reductions annually, including 35,000 tons of nitrogen oxides.

"This plan will significantly reduce emissions and improve visibility, and Colorado will realize significant public health benefits," said Dr. Christopher E. Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "It is a great example of the leadership role Colorado has taken for so long in public health and environmental protection."

The plan, as approved by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, can be viewed at http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-AP/CBON/1251595092457.

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