Headlines April 13, 2022
EPA Moves To Reclassify Denver-Metro And North Front Range Ozone Levels As “Severe”
High ozone levels have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to consider reclassifying Denver-Metro Area’s air quality warning from “serious” to “severe.”
The proposed reclassifications would require Colorado to tighten air quality measures across the Front Range. According to the news release, the “severe” reclassification would require the use of reformulated gasoline in summer months and require polluters to lower overall ozone emissions.
Cars, power plants, and other sources form pollutants that create smog. The smog reaches high, unhealthy levels on sunny days, but can still be harmful in colder months.
The EPA has also proposed updating the standards outlined in the Clean Air Act and a federal plan to cut pollution at the industrial level.
At the state level, a bill to overhaul air quality protection and encourage a shift toward clean energy transportation is currently before the legislature.
Colorado Passes Bill To Expand In-State Tuition
The legislature passed bills to save Coloradans money on tuition and behavioral health on Monday. The bill, HB22-1155 was voted in favor 41-19 on Tuesday and will expand in-state tuition to more Colorado students and families.
Previously, a student would have to live in Colorado for three years before qualifying for in-state tuition. With the new bill, students have to graduate from a Colorado high school, and live here for one year to qualify.
Another bill, HB22- 1278, that also passed, streamlines behavioral health care access through the Behavioral Health Administration. Along with saving Coloradan’s money, it looks to improve access to behavioral health services.
Rep. Neguse Announces New Legislation To Prevent Mass Shootings
Rep. Joe Neguse has announced three new bills geared to preventing mass shooting and protecting workers. The bills follow the one-year anniversary of the fatal King Soopers’ shooting that took 10 lives.
The bills will expand worker safety, precautionary security measures in the workplace, and provide trauma and mental health support systems. Neguse hopes to strengthen security measures and safety protocols to aid in reducing threats of gun violence in public places.
Neguse said in a news release that the most effective way to combat gun violence is requiring stricter gun control. In Nov. he introduced legislation in the house hoping to prohibit people convicted of violent crimes from purchasing firearms for several years. These measures have yet to pass.
Downstream Communities Push For Rejection Of Water Export Proposal In San Luis Valley
According to a news release from Wild Earth Guardians, over a dozen groups within the Rio Grande Basin sent a letter Tuesday to the Douglas County Commission, urging them to reject a proposed water export project.
The project, proposed by Renewable Water Resources, hopes to build a pipeline to export pumped groundwater from the San Luis Valley to the Colorado Front Range. Currently, Douglas County is the only proposed purchaser of the water.
Across the San Luis Valley and Colorado, various groups oppose the pipeline because of already low water levels. Groups opposing the pipeline warn that keeping water from the Rio Grande would be “catastrophic for water users across Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.” They also say that more water is promised to communities than what is actually available.
Colorado Chautauqua Crowned 2022 Best Places In Local Government
The Engaging Local Government Leaders, or ELGL, has named Colorado’s Chautauqua Park one of the best pieces of historical government land in the US. The ELGL annually recognizes local government locations and focuses this year on historical and cultural sites.
The City of Boulder Park’s staff said they felt an overwhelming support from the community and thanked citizens for being wonderful partners to the Parks and Recreation Department and exhibited appreciation for the amazing place.
Boulder Rec Center Job Fair
The Boulder County Rec Center is hosting a job fair today from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM today. According to their website, the Rec Center is looking for over 300 positions and at least 100 of those will be for lifeguards.
Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing national lifeguard shortage. According to Megan Lohman, Senior Manager of Recreation and Facilities, the department currently has 65 guards, but the demand always increases with summer. A continued lack of staff might mean summer closures and a reduction of services.