Action at the State Level on National Position

POSITION:

Support of:

  • Measures to reduce vehicular pollution, including inspection and maintenance of emission controls, changes in engine design and fuel types and development of more energy-efficient transportation systems;
  • Regulation and reduction of pollution from stationary sources;
  • Regulation and reduction of ambient toxic-air pollutants;
  • Measures to reduce transboundary air pollutants, such as ozone and those that cause acid deposition.

HISTORY

LWVCO has had a longstanding concern with air quality, and has undertaken support for measures to decrease the levels of carbon monoxide in the air, to control smoking in public places, to reduce harmful particulates from woodburning stoves and fireplaces and to abate the effects of asbestos. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 were the landmark federal legislation which set standards and deadlines for states to meet.

During the 1980’s the League supported legislation and presented testimony before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (CAQCC) to meet standards for all pollutants, and to use oxygenated fuels in motor vehicles, parking restrictions, high occupancy vehicle lanes, limited no-drive days, increased bus service and light rail transportation. LWVCO supported smoking bans in public places and increased auto emissions testing, including diesel.

In 1989 the League helped pass a bill to regulate emissions of chlorofluorocarbons. LWVCO continues to support the efforts and powers of CAQCC.

During the 1990’s, LWVCO successfully supported legislation requiring automobiles with collector license plates to obtain a certificate of emission control. We supported a good state air quality and prevention program for stationary sources, bringing Colorado law into conformance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Wood smoke reduction bills were also passed, affecting the Metro Denver area.

We supported successful legislation to limit smoking in the capitol. Also, during 1993, we supported legislation regarding mobile source air pollution which changed the way auto inspection and maintenance were done. The changes were necessary in order to improve air quality and to prevent the loss of federal highway funds. In 1998 LWVCO supported a successful initiative to regulate air emissions from confined commercial swine feeding operations.

Since the late 1990’s to date, there have been only a few major attacks on air quality standards. We continue to work in coalitions to oppose measures that weaken emission standards. We have supported successful legislation to prohibit smoking, with some exceptions, in any indoor enclosed area. However, we have been unsuccessful in making Colorado air quality standards more stringent than federal law.

In 2010 HB 1365, supported by LWVCO, required utilities to submit plans to comply with EPA standards.