Current through Chapter 107 of the 2020 Legislative Session
Section 25-7-102 - Legislative declaration(1) In order to foster the health, welfare, convenience, and comfort of the inhabitants of the state of Colorado and to facilitate the enjoyment and use of the scenic and natural resources of the state, it is declared to be the policy of this state to achieve the maximum practical degree of air purity in every portion of the state, to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards, and to prevent the significant deterioration of air quality in those portions of the state where the air quality is better than the national ambient air quality standards. To that end, it is the purpose of this article 7 to require the use of all available practical methods which are technologically feasible and economically reasonable so as to reduce, prevent, and control air pollution throughout the state of Colorado; to require the development of an air quality control program in which the benefits of the air pollution control measures utilized bear a reasonable relationship to the economic, environmental, and energy impacts and other costs of such measures; and to maintain a cooperative program between the state and local units of government. It is further declared that the prevention, abatement, and control of air pollution in each portion of the state are matters of statewide concern and are affected with a public interest and that the provisions of this article 7 are enacted in the exercise of the police powers of this state for the purpose of protecting the health, peace, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state. The general assembly further recognizes that a current and accurate inventory of actual emissions of air pollutants from all sources is essential for the proper identification and designation of attainment and nonattainment areas, the determination of the most cost-effective regulatory strategy to reduce pollution, the targeting of regulatory efforts to achieve the greatest health and environmental benefits, and the achievement of a federally approved clean air program. In order to achieve the most accurate inventory of air pollution sources possible, this article 7 specifically provides incentives to achieve the most accurate and complete inventory possible and to provide for the most accurate enforcement program achievable based upon that inventory.(2) It is further declared that: (a) Climate change adversely affects Colorado's economy, air quality and public health, ecosystems, natural resources, and quality of life;(b) Colorado is already experiencing harmful climate impacts, including declining snowpack, prolonged drought, more extreme heat, elevated wildfire risk and risk to first responders, widespread beetle infestation decimating forests, increased risk of vector-borne diseases, more frequent and severe flooding, more severe ground-level ozone pollution causing respiratory damage and loss of life, decreased economic activity from outdoor recreation and agriculture, and diminished quality of life. Many of these impacts disproportionately affect rural communities, communities of color, youth and the elderly, and working families. Reducing statewide greenhouse gas pollution as outlined in this subsection (2) will protect these frontline communities, first responders, and all Colorado residents from these and other climate impacts.(c) We must work together to reduce statewide greenhouse gas pollution in order to limit the increase in the global average temperature to one and one-half degrees Celsius, which scientists agree would provide a more stable and hospitable climate for current and future generations and mitigate the risk of catastrophic climate impacts in Colorado;(d) By reducing greenhouse gas pollution, Colorado will also reduce other harmful air pollutants, which will, in turn, improve public health, reduce health care costs, improve air quality, and help sustain the environment;(e) Reducing greenhouse gas pollution will create new markets, spur innovation, drive investments in low-carbon technologies, and put Colorado squarely on the path to a modern, resilient, one-hundred-percent clean economy. Delay in pursuing and securing greenhouse gas reductions as outlined in this subsection (2) will prevent Colorado communities from capturing the benefits of these new jobs and markets, in addition to exacerbating the climate impacts that harm Coloradans. The clean energy economy is already bringing tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in direct investment to counties across the state, benefitting workers, families, and communities. Colorado can continue to facilitate such a transition to a clean energy economy. Food and fiber production has made significant achievements in areas of productivity and sustainability. Modern technology in this sector contributes to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering carbon in the soil and enhancing sustainability through technologies that reduce methane emissions and produce renewable energy. Continuing to encourage these types of achievements is beneficial.(f) By exercising a leadership role, Colorado will also position its economy, technology centers, financial institutions, and businesses to benefit from national and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases;(g) Accordingly, Colorado shall strive to increase renewable energy generation and eliminate statewide greenhouse gas pollution by the middle of the twenty-first century and have goals of achieving, at a minimum, a twenty-six percent reduction in statewide greenhouse gas pollution by 2025, a fifty percent reduction in statewide greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, and a ninety percent reduction in statewide greenhouse gas pollution by 2050. The reductions identified in this subsection (2)(g) are measured relative to 2005 statewide greenhouse gas pollution levels.Amended by 2019 Ch. 355,§ 1, eff. 5/30/2019.L. 79: Entire article R&RE, p. 1017, § 1, effective June 20. L. 92: Entire section amended, p. 1165, § 4, effective July 1.