Colorado Chamber Asks EPA to Consider Economic Impacts of Air Quality Designation

The Colorado Chamber yesterday submitted comments to the EPA regarding its pending decision on whether to reclassify the Denver area’s air quality designation from “moderate” to “serious.” If it proceeds, the reclassification would result in immediate and long-term damage to the state economy.

“The Colorado Chamber believes the attainment extension granted to then-Governor Hickenlooper is reflective of the concerted efforts by Colorado’s businesses, manufacturers, communities and state government to reach a balanced solution between good air quality attainment and predictability for businesses – and how that partnership has allowed for Colorado’s greater economic prosperity,” said Leah Curtsinger, Director of Federal Policy for the Colorado Chamber.

“The jump to ‘Serious’ nonattainment will affect more than 600 individual sources in the Denver Metro North Front Range nonattainment area, requiring those businesses to evaluate additional emission controls, be identified as major sources and submit applications for operating permits at considerable additional cost,” Curtsinger said. “… Additionally, some of the lesser known harms of a redesignation could also include: loss of federal highway funds, the limiting or restricting of federal air permits for businesses, including widening the circle of businesses not previously required to hold air permits, and the likelihood that new air emissions standards could eliminate industries in Colorado.”

“The State of Colorado has withdrawn its request for an extension of the “Moderate” nonattainment date. The Colorado Chamber in turn asks the EPA to consider the successful work currently being done at the state level, by the business community, to improve our air quality – while balancing our economic prosperity,” she said.

The letter comes after the Colorado Chamber testified in a public meeting held by the EPA earlier this month on the pending decision.

Click here to read the full letter.