In the News

DBJ: Colorado could target warehouses, shopping malls with next emissions regulations

By Ed Sealover for the Denver Business Journal

Seeking more ways to improve Colorado air quality, a quartet of state and regional-government agencies may target “indirect sources” of greenhouse-gas emissions like vehicle-attracting shopping malls and warehouses with their next potential set of regulations.

Kelly Blynn, transportation climate change specialist for the Colorado Energy Office, told the Transportation Legislation Review Committee on Aug. 9 that the state is working to understand which properties are large producers of emissions and how they can contribute to reductions. Asked after the meeting for more specifics, Blynn told Denver Business Journal that research is in its nascent stage and that officials will study outcomes of programs used in other states and over a multiyear period to determine what could make the biggest difference here.

It is clear, however, that Colorado, whose upper Front Range area is about to be downgraded from a serious to a severe violator of federal ozone standards, is trying to grow its array of weapons that it uses to combat air pollution. Just since 2019, the state has tightened oil-and-gas drilling ruleslaunched a strategy to boost vehicle electrification and tied highway-expansion funding to the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, among other moves.

Loren Furman, president/CEO of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, said that such rules would represent another significant source of regulation at a time when the state is implementing a host of other rules for which businesses are responsible. Without any details this early in the process, her members are reluctant to pass judgment on the idea of indirect-source regulations, but she hopes this can be a more collaborative process than the development of the employee trip-reduction proposals that generated such opposition.

“We hope the (Colorado Energy Office) plans to do outreach to the business community and specifically property owners that will be affected by any proposed changes,” Furman said. “Requiring monitoring on existing property may be costly and requires advance analysis to determine what is feasible for the infrastructure of existing property.”

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