Agreement on Regional Haze Plan Will Protect Human Health and Wilderness Areas Across the West

August 12, 2011
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(Boulder, CO – August 12, 2011) A new agreement to reduce harmful air pollution and ugly haze in the Western U.S. is winning praise from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today.

The agreement was submitted to a Colorado federal court today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It would require EPA to take final action on Colorado's regional haze plan by September 10, 2012. It also sets specific dates for taking action on air quality plans from Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.

"Today's action is a positive step towards clearing the air in Colorado's front range," said Pamela Campos, an attorney in EDF's Rocky Mountain office. "Timely approval of Colorado's pioneering plan for reducing harmful air pollution is an important step in the pathway towards clean air."

If approved, the plan will lead to dramatic reductions in dangerous types of air pollution, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and greenhouse gases. It will improve public health and will also reduce haze in areas like Rocky Mountain National Park.

The agreement was negotiated by a coalition of stakeholders, including EDF. The federal district court will now review the agreement before issuing a final decision on whether to approve it.