Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

Increase Public Protection Air Toxics Emissions

Concerning increased public protections from emissions of air toxics.
2020 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

The bill creates a new program to regulate emissions of a subset of hazardous air pollutants, referred to as defines "covered air toxics" which are defined as hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene. and other hazardous air pollutants specified by the air quality control commission by rule. A stationary source of air pollutants that reported in its federal toxics release inventory filing at least one of the following amounts of a covered air toxic in one for the year 2017 or later is defined as a "covered facility":

  • For hydrogen cyanide, 10,000 pounds;
  • For hydrogen fluoride, 10,000 pounds;
  • For hydrogen sulfide, 5,000 pounds; and
  • For benzene, 1,000 pounds.

At least every 5 years beginning in 2026, the commission will review the best available science and adjust, as necessary to protect public health, the list of covered air toxics and their associated emission levels. The commission will:

  • Regulate covered air toxics more strictly than is required by the federal clean air act;
  • Require covered facilities to monitor their emissions of covered air tox ics;
  • Set health-based emission limits for covered air toxics if no such limit exists under state or federal law; and
  • Establish a real-time community alert system for "incidents", which are unauthorized emissions of an air pollutant from a covered facility.

The division of administration in the department of public health and environment will:

  • Consider and prevent adverse cumulative impacts from covered facilities' emissions of hazardous air pollutants when processing air pollution permits for covered facilities that are located in or near disproportionately impacted communities, as determined by the commission by rule;
  • Approve a new or amended permit for a covered facility only if there is no net increase in the adverse cumulative impacts of hazardous air pollutant emissions above existing levels in each disproportionately impacted community affected by the emissions; and
  • If existing emissions of hazardous air pollutants exceed the health-based emission limits or have unacceptable adverse cumulative impacts on any disproportionately impacted community, require a decrease or cessation in the applicable emissions over the shortest practicable time until the emissions comply with the health-based emission limits and no longer have unacceptable adverse cumulative impacts on any disproportionately impacted community.

"Incidents" are defined as unauthorized emissions of an air pollutant from a covered facility. Each covered facilities facility will:

  • Monitor their covered air toxics emissions and make the monitoring data widely available, including to the public; and
  • Promptly disseminate information regarding an incident pursuant to the commission's real-time community alert system to the public, affected local governments and other community entities, and local emergency planning and response organizations.
  • Conduct outreach to representatives of the community surrounding the covered facility to discuss communications regarding the occurrence of an incident;
  • Use reverse-911 to communicate with, and make data available to, the community surrounding the covered facility regarding the occurrence of an incident;
  • Implement reverse-911 within 6 months; and
  • Pay all costs associated with its use of reverse-911.

The bill specifies violations for a covered facility that is covered by specified federal regulations based on the unauthorized emission of an air pollutant from a flare or pressure relief device and any uncontrolled atmospheric release of an air pollutant from an organic hazardous air pollutant pressure relief device. The commission will review its rules for these facilities and specifically consider adopting more stringent provisions, including:

  • A requirement that leak detection and repair inspections occur at these facilities on, at a minimum, a semiannual basis or that an alternative approved instrument monitoring method is in place pursuant to existing rules; and
  • Reductions in fugitive emissions from equipment leaks and wastewater at these facilities.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text