The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission holds its first rulemaking hearing on May 20 and 21 to address greenhouse gas, or GHG, reporting and the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons - powerful GHGs primarily used in cooling and refrigeration.
Chris Menges, the City of Aspen’s Climate and Sustainability Programs Administrator, said Pitkin County and several other local governments, including Basalt, Carbondale and Eagle County, will be attending the hearing as part of the Colorado Communities for Climate Action, or CC4CA.
The group is a coalition of 36 towns, cities, and counties across Colorado working to strengthen climate policy in the state. A majority of the members are rural, West Slope communities.
“The biggest impact we would see is tools that help everyone in the state reduce air pollution and advance progress on a clean economy,” Menges said. “It should also provide more opportunities for state and local collaboration on air quality, health and climate issues and provide us data that we wouldn’t otherwise have.”
In 2019, the CC4CA coalition worked with the state legislature and the governor to help pass a series of bills focused on climate action health and air quality. Menges said the upcoming hearing will help state agencies figure out how to implement those bills.
Menges emphasized that the hearing is particularly important right now in light of local coronavirus response and recovery.
“With COVID-19, we’re talking about a pandemic that targets the respiratory system," he said, “and this rulemaking and climate action generally is focused on reducing air pollution, which really compliments respiratory health.”
The public comment session is on May 20 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The public can listen to the rulemaking hearing on May 21 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Menges said locals are encouraged to register and participate in the hearing, which will be taking place over zoom.
“It's really important for the commission to hear from residents, businesses and local stakeholders that they are interested in the state continuing to move forward on greenhouse gas reductions and a clean economy,” Menges said. “So it’s definitely worth community members commenting if they can.”
Public comment for the climate rulemaking hearings can be submitted by Wednesday, May 20 in written form to firstname.lastname@example.org or by signing up to give oral comments at the virtual public comment session.