First round of aerial emissions surveys completed over Boulder, Weld, Larimer counties “We recognize air quality is an important issue and the business community acknowledges the need for action – many are already taking these steps,” said Thomas Book, president and CEO of Denver South. But it’s asking the state “what can you do to put in a program that’s voluntary or regulated in a way that it actually has meaningful impact on the air quality and do so in a way that’s minimally intrusive to the business community, whose function after all is to run a business.” The Chamber and Denver South Friday submitted comments to the Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission – the nine-member citizen panel populated with Gov. Jared Polis appointees, no more than five of whom can be from the same political party.
The effort dubbed the Employee Trip Reduction Program , part of legislation passed in 2019 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado, comes as businesses are recovering from a pandemic year that saw entire industries shut down and unemployment skyrocket.
Some businesses are understandably concerned about the new regulations, said representatives from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver South Economic Development Partnership and Colorado News Roundtable. And it wants those plans from 2,764 businesses with some 900,000 employees – which could cost anywhere from $7,200 to $811,643 annually to implement – by Jan. 1, 2022, according to state records.
Those requirements came from the Colorado legislature by way of HB19-1261 Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution, which Polis signed into law in May of 2019. It included lofty goals, without many implementation specifics critics assert, of reducing “2025 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26%, 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%, and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% of the levels of statewide greenhouse gas emissions that existed in 2005.” To help get there, the trip reduction program was introduced. The ETRP lives in Regulation No. 22 under the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Emission Reduction Requirements.
The commission will meet in mid August to hammer out the rules and regulations, after getting a full report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division, including an economic impact report and input from 25 stakeholders (like the Chamber).
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