Colorado Springs

Colorado neighborhoods will get tougher toxic air monitoring of heavy polluters – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-09 05:33:00 –

Dangerous release of toxic air by some of Colorado’s heaviest air pollutants has passed legislation requiring Congress to monitor “fence lines” and expand state mobility tests, according to activists welcoming the proposal. Later, it will be subject to stricter surveillance.

Congress this week House building 1189 — And sent it for the Governor’s signature — Demanded that industrial plants such as Sanko’s Commerce City Refinery and Pueblo’s Goodrich Carbon Airplane Brake Factory install surveillance on the boundaries of their property. You also need to publicly report the results.

Proponents of the bill, including Latino lawmakers in northern Denver and the suburbs promoting environmental justice, We have also succeeded in removing the escape hatches of some companies. Conservation groups have recently changed self-reported toxic emissions to alter voluntary levels by companies such as Goodrich Carbon to lower pollution levels below the thresholds proposed in the initial version of House Bill 1189. Blame.

Companies have denied trying to circumvent the threshold, saying they have just installed better equipment or improved monitoring to make total emissions more accurate. In response, proponents have changed the wording of the bill to require them to report on certain carefully targeted industries, regardless of the amount of chemicals released.

Proponents of the bill are trying to limit the three major toxic chemicals, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene. However, the definition of pollutants of interest has changed to the industries that emit the most of those substances: oil refineries, aircraft parts manufacturers, oil bulk stations and terminals.

Colorado Sun asked Suncor and Goodrich Carbon for comment, but did not respond by the deadline.

Through an interpreter, Carmen Abrego Basquez, a board member of the Colorado People’s Alliance, a non-profit organization in Globeville, said the entire family was suffering from respiratory illness from pollutants in the neighborhood.

She said of the bill, “It’s an important step to ensure transparency and accountability to corporate polluters … Most of the people in my community are Latin or immigrants, which is It’s a step towards improving our lives. We have the right to know what’s in the air we breathe. “

Lenny Chacon, youth program development coordinator for the spirit of the sun, a non-profit organization in Commerce City, said the bill represents real progress, but it should also inform future industries. Said.

Alertness is important, Chacon said, “because we don’t want new sectors to enter and act in the same predatory way against communities affected by these imbalances.” I will. She hopes regulators will follow House Bill 1189 to impose meaningful sanctions on companies like Suncor whose toxic release regularly violates permit restrictions and other rules. ..

“Air monitoring is an important first step towards accountability to nearby polluters, and legislation that has listened to the community and endorsed the bill to address decades of environmental racism. “But Colorado hasn’t taken enough steps to reduce pollution in the most affected communities, so the fight for environmental justice will continue. “

The bill, which will be signed by Governor Jared Polis, also requires the state’s air pollution control agency to set reporting standards for companies that must install fenceline monitors under the law. Facilities that exceed the threshold should report the incident to the public.

“This was a huge deal for environmental justice,” said Ein Tafoya, Co-Chair of the Colorado Latino Forum. Mr. Tafoya also cited the benefits that supporters feel were obtained by House Bill 1266, which puts many of Police’s greenhouse gas emissions targets on a stricter timeline.

Not all conservation groups that have been in dispute with state regulators for months on Suncor’s expired permit renewals and other issues see the new bill as a major change. They accuse air pollution control staff and the commissioned committee that develops regulations to be too close to industrial polluters and spoil them.

Robert Eucaley, a lawyer at the Colorado Center for Biodiversity, said, “If the Air Quality Control Committee works for polluters or has members working, Congress will come from the Air Quality Control Committee. It is unrealistic to keep expecting protection. “

Ukayley said the bill was “less valuable,” but other states such as Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia have set stricter restrictions.

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Colorado neighborhoods will get tougher toxic air monitoring of heavy polluters Source link Colorado neighborhoods will get tougher toxic air monitoring of heavy polluters

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