DENVER — Friday, March 29, 2019 — Governor Jared Polis released the following statement on the state’s decision to withdraw a request to extend the attainment date for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard. This extension would have given Colorado additional time to come into compliance with the health-based standard. Colorado is choosing to move forward without delay to protect communities and their public health.
“There’s too much smog in our air, and instead of hiding behind bureaucracy and paperwork that delay action, we are moving forward to make our air cleaner now.
Last year alone, there were 55 days when Coloradans were warned that exercising outdoors could be damaging to their health due to high ground-level ozone. That’s more than half the summer, which is unacceptable. There’s more we can do to protect our air quality and health, and we should do it sooner not later.
That’s why we’re developing a zero-emissions vehicle standard, reforming our oil and gas laws to prioritize public health and safety, and advancing efforts to transition to 100% renewable energy. These steps are critical to reducing emissions in the Denver Metro area and the North Front Range.
Cleaner air saves us money on healthcare and reducing smog will lead to lower asthma rates and lower insurance premiums and out of pocket costs.
Clean air is a major part of the Colorado way of life. My administration intends to protect that way of life while harnessing the economic benefits and job growth that come from transitioning to a clean energy economy.”
Jill Ryan, executive director of the Department of Public Health and Environment also released a statement, saying, “The Governor has challenged us to move quicker, and we are up for the task. Clean air can’t wait. I'm confident that the Dept. of Public Health and Environment, working with its partners, will find the right strategies to reduce ozone in the Denver and Front Range to assure clean air for our citizens and meet all our federal air quality requirements.”
Read the full letter here.