In the summer of 2007, elevated levels of ground-level ozone caused the the nine-county Denver region to fall out of complicance with the federal health-based, eight-hour standard. Stakeholders were a vital component of the planning process to develop a new state implementation plan to ensure future compliance with the standard. In November 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the ozone standard to .075 parts per million (ppm), enforcing the need for regional collaboration among stakeholders to identify new strategies to bring the region into compliance under this strict new standard.
Strengthening existing and developing additional programs to reduce ozone in both the short- and long-term is a priority for Gov. Bill Ritter, the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC).
There are a number of local, regional, state and government agencies working together to ensure future compliance with the standard. These agencies include the following.
- Air Pollution Control Division, Colo. Dept. of Public Health & Environment
- Air Quality Control Commission
- Denver Regional Council of Governments
- Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
- Nine-County Denver Region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer & Weld
- North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Regional Air Quality Council
To ensure future compliance with the federal ozone standard, there are a number of important milestones to meet. Below is a summary of these major milestones.
- October 2007: Kickoff to Ozone Stakeholder Committee Meetings
- December 2007: Final List of Strategies for 2008 Ozone Season Due
- May 2008: Implementation Strategy Deadline to Impact 2008 Ozone Season
- September 2008: Proposed SIP Due to Air Quality Control Commission
- December 2008: Approval of SIP by Air Quality Control Commission
- January – May 2009: Legislative Approval of State Implementation Plan
- May 2010: Implementation deadline for strategies included in SIP