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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

As Feds Roll Back Emissions Standards, CO Officials Prep Workaround

Courtesy photo

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced rollbacks to the Clean Car Standards, which set guidelines for vehicle emissions, but Colorado officials are preparing a workaround.


State and national environmental groups say Trump’s decision will exacerbate global climate change, cost consumers more at the gas pump and hurt air quality.

In June, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order that directs Colorado officials to develop state standards that exceed the new national baseline. Because of Colorado’s high elevation and the mountain topography, Hickenlooper said it’s particularly important to limit air pollution here.

“The same amount of pollution in Colorado will cause more discomfort to somebody with asthma than if that person were on the east coast or the west coast,” he said.  

The state Air Quality Control Commission is set to start discussions of Colorado’s clean car standards later this month.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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