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Press Contact:

Angela Simental, Conservation Colorado, 303-605-3483,

Environmental Groups Support and Urge the Passage of New Bills to Cut Harmful Pollution in Colorado

Legislation will avoid harmful ballot measures, improve air quality and public health, support disproportionately impacted communities, remediate wells, and increase funding for transit and public lands

DENVER — Legislators will soon introduce two bills aimed at improving Colorado’s air quality and public health with support from a coalition of environmental and community groups that have for years championed meaningful action to address the state’s severe ozone pollution crisis. The coalition urges lawmakers to move quickly to ensure passage of the new legislation. 

The pair of new bills will strengthen air quality enforcement, require emissions controls for oil and gas operations, create new community liaison positions, close orphaned and low-producing wells in disproportionately impacted communities, significantly increase funding for local transit service across the state, and support the remediation of public lands.

In addition to these bills, the coalition worked with the governor, legislative leadership, and bill sponsors to avoid potentially devastating ballot measures from the oil and gas industry that could have rolled back a decade of climate progress in Colorado. When the legislation is successful and unchallenged and the ballot measures are withdrawn, the groups will work to support implementation in the next few years.

In this year’s legislative session, the coalition has worked to advance bills that tackle shortfalls in the state’s air permitting system, reduce ozone-forming pollution, increase protections for disproportionately impacted communities, and strengthen the enforcement process for repeat violators. While the two new pieces of legislation introduced today do not match what advocates initially set out to accomplish, and much still remains to be done to address our longstanding ozone problem in Colorado, if implemented appropriately they will make important and meaningful improvements to our air quality and enforcement shortcomings. 

The groups urge support for the new bills while also acknowledging that there is work ahead to deliver on the clean air and equitable climate future Coloradans expect. 


Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG)

Colorado Sierra Club

Conservation Colorado




Healthy Air and Water Colorado

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)

Western Resource Advocates


“These bills represent significant progress for disproportionately impacted communities, providing much-needed protections from pollution, resources to enhance the lives of transit-dependent individuals, and crucial remediation efforts for both the ecosystem and affected communities. We celebrate the collective work to bring down ballot issues that would have harmed our progress for environmental justice” said Ean Thomas Tafoya, GreenLatinos Colorado State Director. 

“We support the legislation as very important progress to address Colorado’s serious air quality challenges, provide more transit opportunities and protect lands and wildlife,” said Kelly Nordini, CEO of Conservation Colorado. “We appreciate the Governor, legislative leadership and the sponsors’ work to avoid potentially devastating ballot measures that could have rolled back a decade of climate progress in Colorado.”

“While these bills look different from the original legislation introduced to address Colorado’s ozone pollution, they are still significant steps toward getting this crisis under control,” said Becca Curry, Policy Counsel with Earthjustice. “We stand in strong support of this legislation and urge legislators to pass the bills immediately. Colorado’s impacted communities can not wait another year for meaningful action to achieve needed reductions and hold industrial polluters accountable.”

“These bills will help us reduce critical emissions from two of the largest sources of climate- and health-harming pollution in our state: the oil and gas industry and transportation,” said Megan Kemp, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Healthy Air and Water Colorado. “This package of legislation, the result of robust negotiation with diverse stakeholders, includes important measures to reduce ozone pollution, provide substantial new resources to promote public transit that reduces vehicle emissions, and protect the health of DI communities that often experience worse health impacts due to higher exposure to poor air quality.”

“Earthworks has worked alongside our allies and grassroots partners to tackle Colorado’s worsening ozone crisis and urge the state to meaningfully enforce air quality regulations that protect communities and the environment from harm,” said Andrew Forkes-Gudmundson, Senior Manager for State Policy at Earthworks. “The bills introduced today, while not the exact same bills the coalition worked to introduce, include important measures that will enable further progress on these issues, and we look forward to working to implement them.”

“As we strive to slash pollution and meet our state climate targets, this legislation helps fill a critical, missing piece of the puzzle: funding for the operation of a robust local transit system in Colorado,” said Elise Jones, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “By enabling more frequent and convenient bus and rail service, this effort will assure Coloradans can breathe cleaner air, get to where they need to go, save money, spend less time stuck in traffic, and enjoy a healthier and more affordable future.”

“The bills introduced today represent important steps toward being able to combat Colorado’s ozone crisis that has polluted our air and harmed communities for decades, increase transit, and invest in conservation,” said Margaret Kran-Annexstein, Director of the Colorado Sierra Club. “Further, we are glad to avoid ballot measures filed by the oil and gas industry that would have rolled back the climate progress that Coloradans need and want. Coloradans deserve clean air and a livable climate and we look forward to continuing to work with partners to advance that vision.”

“With these bills, the legislature is taking important steps to address climate change and to protect the health of our communities by addressing air pollution on the Front Range and by investing in Colorado’s habitat and wildlife, which have been negatively impacted by oil and gas development” said Jon Goldin-Dubois, President of Western Resource Advocates.