Learn about Boulder County’s efforts to conserve our precious natural resources and promote healthy lifestyles. Adopt sustainable ways of living by recycling, composting, and commuting in ways that protect our air, land and water. Defend yourself and your family against environmental health risks. Read about Boulder County’s guiding principles in the Comprehensive Plan.
Current Issues — Air Quality and Respiratory Health
As Boulder County residents, we cherish the outdoors. But unfortunately, we don’t have clean air in our county, particularly in the summer when recreating outside is at its highest. In 2019, the American Lung Association Report Card gave Boulder County an “F” due to unhealthy levels of ozone, a lung-burning pollutant that contributes to asthma and other respiratory diseases, which are a major risk factor for severe illness or death from COVID-19. Ozone is formed during Colorado’s famously sunny days when the sun “cooks” volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides – air pollutants from vehicles and industry, including oil and gas. Boulder County and Boulder County Public Health are fighting to uphold the air quality rules we need to clean up our air and protect our climate.
Local governments and health departments are on the front lines of the COVID-19 emergency and are also working hard to protect air quality in Boulder County and beyond. Meanwhile, federal agencies propose actions that would weaken air quality and health protections:
- Vehicle Emission Standards Are Rolled Back
- Cleaner Summertime Gas Blends Are Delayed
- EPA’s “Transparency in Science” Proposal Blocks the Science Backing Key Protections
- EPA Relaxes Enforcement for Environmental Violations
- EPA Declines To Advance Protections Against Particulate Pollution
Colorado’s May 20 Climate Rulemaking
The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission began its rulemakings to implement the bills that passed in the 2019 legislative session to meet the state’s carbon reduction targets. Boulder County Public Health co-led a party to the rulemaking to work for aggressive reductions. See this press release to learn about the outcome of the rulemaking.
We are looking forward to another climate rulemaking that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2021.
Forest Health Outreach Program
Boulder County’s Forest Health program promotes forest sustainability and stewardship of the land through outreach and education with private landowners. Learn more about upcoming trainings and workshops, bark beetle management, the community chipping reimbursement program, and the forestry sort yards and slash disposal.
Some animals and insects carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Boulder County works to prevent these diseases and minimize their transmission. Learn more about these diseases, including West Nile virus, rabies, plague, and hantavirus.
Hazardous Materials Management Facility
The new facility, located next to the recycling center on 63rd street in Boulder includes an increase in the amount and types of materials accepted, business waste management, increased all-weather operation, improved safety, and longer operating hours. Learn more about hazardous and business waste (CESQG).