Select Page
Jun 1st

Event

Outside Festival
1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Jun 2nd

Event

Outside Festival
1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Jun 7th

Board Meeting

9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Regional Air Quality Council

 

Mission: 

We collaborate to improve air quality and protect Colorado’s health, environment, and economy through planning, policy development and program implementation.

Vision:

Clean air provides us the opportunity to breathe easy.

 

Donate:

The RAQC Clean Air Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity,  is dedicated to funding, and supplementing RAQC air quality programs that reduce Ozone within the EPA’s Denver Metro/Front Range Ozone Non-Attainment Area.

Donate here or click on the RAQC Clean Air Fund logo to the right of this text to make a donation.

News Feed

Current 8-Hour Ozone Summary

Ozone Summary through May 13, 20248- hour Ozone Summary is based on 8-hour averages of raw 1-hour ozone data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) through EPA AirNow and consistent with Data Reporting and Handling Conventions outlined...

Improve Air Quality For Your Family and Community With A Mostly Free Electric Mower

The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) is the Front Range’s lead air quality planning agency. We create plans for the state to improve air quality and meet goals set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The RAQC also runs programs that work to reduce air pollution and improve public health in the greater Denver metro.

Sometimes, when an industrial facility faces fines, we receive those monies to put back into the community. As a result, this summer is your chance to upgrade your gas-powered lawn mower to a clean, quiet, electric option — and help improve the health of your family and community.

Gas-powered mowers have an oversized negative impact on our air quality. They contribute especially to the formation of ground-level ozone, which you cannot see or smell, but is bad for you to breathe. In fact, operating a gas-powered mower for just an hour contributes the equivalent air pollution of driving a car from Denver to Utah. When you use a gas mower, you also breathe in high levels of harmful air pollutants that are released right next to you. But you can improve the air quality in your backyard this year, almost for free.

Utilizing industrial fines, the RAQC is hosting events for residents of targeted communities to trade in old gas-powered equipment for a new electric mower. By also using a new Colorado state discount, you can receive an electric mower that retails for over $400 mostly free – you will only need to pay the tax. This is usually less than $40 for a $400 mower.

There will be multiple models of electric mowers available at these events available for just the tax. If you prefer to purchase a higher end model mower, you just pay the difference after the discounts provided.

This program is open to residents of the following zip codes: 80022, 80024, 80221, 80640, 80229, 80260, 80216, 80205, 80211, 80207, 80238, 80239, 80249.

Denver and Adams County residents: check out the zip codes above to see if you qualify!

You don’t need to sign up in advance. Simply show up at one of the events we’re hosting with locally owned Ace Hardware stores with your old gas mower, with the ability to bring home a mower. Electric models are about the same size and weight as your old gas equipment. While you must live in one of the zip codes listed, you do not need to live in the specific community of the event. Please bring an ID, utility bill, or other proof of your residency in one of the specified zip codes.

Please note that you *do* need to bring a gas-powered mower for us to recycle to participate. While our partners at ACE can drain them on-site, if you are able, please drain the oil and gas from your old mower before arriving, as it will allow for a smoother day-of process.

All events are 9am – 1pm. There are a limited number of vouchers available for each event.

April 13, 2024: Commerce City Ace Hardware, 6900 Eudora Dr, Commerce City, CO 80022

April 20, 2024: Mile High Ace Hardware & Garden, 2700 W 104th Ave, Federal Heights, CO 80234

April 27, 2024: Chambers Place Ace Hardware, 4830 Chambers Road Denver  CO 80239

Please visit mowdownpollution.org for updates on times and locations. This program utilizes one-time funding, and this offer is only available as funding permits. Funds will be exhausted in the first three events, and there will not be a fourth (which was previously listed).

Meeting Colorado’s air quality goals takes all of us. Regulators and advisory groups are working on reducing industrial air pollution, but reducing individual gas emissions, like those from gas-powered mowers and cars, can help cut the ozone causing pollution on the Front Range in half! Plus, electric mowers are much quieter, require less maintenance, and you will no longer have to buy or handle gas. Upgrading your personal lawn mower from gas to electric can make a really big difference for air quality in your community, as well as for the health of you and your family.

Please visit mowdownpollution.org and select “residential program” or email mowdownpollution@raqc.org for more information.

This project was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged violations of federal laws.

———————————————

Mejore la Calidad del aire para Su Familia y Comunidad con un Cortacésped Eléctrico Gratuito

El Consejo Regional de Calidad del Aire (RAQC) es la principal agencia de planificación de la calidad del aire de Front Range. Creamos planes para que el estado mejore la calidad del aire y cumpla con los objetivos establecidos por la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de EE. UU. (EPA). El RAQC también ejecuta programas que trabajan para reducir la contaminación del aire y mejorar la salud pública en el área metropolitana de Denver.

A veces, cuando una instalación industrial enfrenta multas, recibimos ese dinero para devolverlo a la comunidad. Como resultado, este verano es su oportunidad de actualizar su cortadora de césped a gasolina por una opción eléctrica, silenciosa y limpia, y ayudar a mejorar la salud de su familia y su comunidad.

Las cortadoras de césped que funcionan con gasolina tienen un impacto negativo enorme en la calidad del aire. Contribuyen especialmente a la formación de ozono a nivel del suelo, que no se puede ver ni oler, pero que es perjudicial para la respiración. De hecho, operar una cortadora de césped a gasolina durante solo una hora contribuye a la contaminación del aire equivalente a conducir un automóvil de Denver a Utah. Cuando utiliza una cortadora de césped a gasolina, también respira altos niveles de contaminantes atmosféricos nocivos que se liberan justo a su lado. Pero este año puedes mejorar la calidad del aire en tu patio trasero, casi gratis.

Utilizando multas industriales, RAQC está organizando eventos para que los residentes de las comunidades objetivo intercambien equipos viejos que funcionan con gasolina por una cortadora de césped eléctrica nueva. Al utilizar también un nuevo descuento del estado de Colorado, puede recibir una cortadora de césped eléctrica que se vende por más de $400, en su mayoría gratis; solo tendrá que pagar el impuesto. Suele ser menos de 40 dólares.

Habrá varios modelos de cortadoras de césped eléctricas disponibles en estos eventos disponibles solo por el impuesto. Si prefiere comprar un cortacésped de modelo superior, solo pagará la diferencia después de los descuentos proporcionados.

Este programa está abierto a residentes de los siguientes códigos postales: 80022, 80024, 80221, 80640, 80229, 80260, 80216, 80205, 80211, 80207, 80238, 80239, 80249.

No es necesario registrarse con antelación. Simplemente preséntese en uno de los eventos que organizamos con Ace Hardware con su vieja cortadora de césped a gasolina, con la posibilidad de llevarse una cortadora a casa. Los modelos eléctricos tienen aproximadamente el mismo tamaño y peso que sus antiguos equipos de gas. Si bien debe vivir en uno de los códigos postales enumerados, no es necesario que viva en la comunidad específica del evento.

Traiga una identificación, factura de servicios públicos u otra prueba de su residencia en uno de los códigos postales especificados.

Tenga en cuenta también que debe traer una cortadora de césped a gasolina para que la reciclemos para participar.
Si puede, drene el aceite y la gasolina de su vieja cortadora de césped antes de llegar.

Todos los eventos son de 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. Hay un número limitado de vales disponibles para cada evento.

13 de abril de 2024: Commerce City Ace Hardware, 6900 Eudora Dr, Commerce City, CO 80022

20 de abril de 2024: Mile High Ace Hardware & Garden, 2700 W 104th Ave, Federal Heights, CO 80234

27 de abril de 2024: Chambers Place Ace Hardware, 4830 Chambers Road Denver CO 80239

Visite mowdownpollution.org para obtener actualizaciones sobre horarios y lugares. Este programa utiliza financiación única y esta oferta solo está disponible si la financiación lo permite. Los fondos se agotarán en los primeros tres eventos y no habrá un cuarto (que figuraba anteriormente).

Cumplir los objetivos de calidad del aire de Colorado requiere de todos nosotros. Los reguladores y los grupos asesores están trabajando para reducir la contaminación del aire industrial, pero reducir las emisiones de gases individuales, como las de las cortadoras de césped y los automóviles que funcionan con gasolina, puede ayudar a reducir a la mitad el ozono que causa la contaminación en Front Range. Además, los cortacéspedes eléctricos son mucho más silenciosos, requieren menos mantenimiento y ya no tendrás que comprar ni manipular gasolina. Actualizar su cortadora de césped personal de gasolina a eléctrica puede marcar una gran diferencia en la calidad del aire en su comunidad, así como en su salud y la de su fa

Visite mowdownpollution.org y seleccione “programa residencial” o envíe un correo electrónico a mowdownpollution@raqc.org para obtener más información.

Este proyecto se llevó a cabo en relación con la resolución de una acción de ejecución adoptada por la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de EE. UU. por presuntas violaciones de las leyes federales.

RAQC Releases RFP for Ozone SIP Modeling in the Denver Metro/North Front Range Area

Request for Proposal:
Denver Metro/North Front Range 2024-25 Serious Ozone SIP Modeling and Analysis Platform

Mandatory Joint Proposers Teams Meeting:
Thursday, January 25, 2024 – 10:00 am MST

Intent to Submit Deadline:
Tuesday, January 30, 2024 – 4:00 pm MST

Proposal Deadline:
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 – 3:00 pm MST

The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), in Denver, Colorado, in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is requesting the services of a consulting firm to assist in 2024-25 Serious Ozone State Implementation Plan (SIP) Modeling and Analysis Platform  for the Denver Metro/North Front Range ozone nonattainment area focusing on attaining the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).

View the Request for Proposal (RFP)

Questions on this RFP will be accepted until 3:00 pm MST, Friday, January 26, 2024 via email (tmoore@raqc.org).

RTD Zero Fare for Better Air positively impacted greenhouse gas emissions, air quality in July and August

The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) two-month Zero Fare for Better Air (ZFBA) initiative in 2023 led to an estimated reduction of more than 9 million vehicle miles traveled during peak ozone months of July and August. Additionally, estimates show more than 6 million pounds of greenhouse gases were eliminated when individuals opted to use public transit instead of a single occupancy vehicle.

To assess the environmental impact of the 2023 ZFBA initiative, RTD partnered with the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), the lead air quality planning agency for the nine-county Denver Metro/North Front Range Ozone Nonattainment Area. RAQC’s analysis utilized the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model to estimate the initiative’s overall impact on the region’s air quality.

According to RAQC, the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative helped reduce both ozone precursors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which in the presence of heat and sunlight, combine to form invisible but harmful ground-level ozone.

“When public transit is easy to use, people use it more,” said Mike Silverstein, RAQC Executive Director. “Increased public transit use also reduces the top two sources of ground-level ozone precursors in the Front Range: emissions from cars and light trucks, and fuel production by the oil and gas industry to fill those tanks. RTD’s Zero Fare for Better Air initiative helps reduce both our fossil fuel use and the demand for its production, making a positive impact on our local air quality during peak ozone season.”

Read the full release: RTD Zero Fare for Better Air positively impacted greenhouse gas emissions, air quality in July and August

National report highlights measurable benefits of electrifying lawn and garden equipment

A new report from the CoPIRG Foundation highlights the negative impacts of air pollution produced annually by gas-powered lawn and garden equipment and the measurable benefits of electrifying this equipment across the country. The report is based on 2020 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emissions Inventory, with 2020 being the most recent year for which data is available. 

Gas-powered lawn and garden equipment—such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, and chainsaws—are currently the fourth leading contributor to Colorado Front Range emissions, and a major contributor to the formation of harmful ground-level ozone in the region. This equipment also produces a range of harmful emissions that can have significant negative effects on human health, creating both short-term and long-term health risks for individuals exposed to them, as well as negative impacts on plants, ecosystems, and crop yields.  

RAQC executive director Mike Silverstein joined CoPIRG at a press event for the report’s release on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, in support of actions to reduce the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment in the Front Range of Colorado, to improve local air quality.  

“Electric is our future, in so many ways, over fossil-fuel powered equipment,” said Silverstein. 

The numbers add up 

The CoPIRG Foundation report includes interactive elements by state and by county across the entire country, detailing data for nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and fine particulates (PM 2.5).  

In 2020 alone, the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment across the U.S. emitted more than 68,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 350,000 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere: the two chemical components of ground-level ozone, which triggers asthma attacks and contributes to premature death. This equipment also emitted 30 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading cause of global warming, and nearly 22,000 tons of fine particulates (PM2.5): microscopic pollutants smaller than a human hair, like soot, smoke, and dust, that have been linked to respiratory ailments, reproductive and mental health issues, and even premature death.  

According to this report, in Colorado, the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment emitted almost 2,000 tons of NOx, 775,805 tons of CO2, and 671 tons of fine particulates. The majority of these emissions—almost 80% of each (1,542 tons of NOx, 603,597 tons of CO2, and 531 tons of fine particulates)—were emitted from the 9-county Front Range ozone nonattainment area, where 68% of the state’s population lives (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld counties).  

While that may not seem like a lot, this is the same amount of NOx emitted over an entire year by more than 880,000 cars. And it would take more than 7 million cars to produce the same number of fine particulates over the course of a year — 4 times the number of cars in Colorado.  

In a given year, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment in the 9-county Front Range area emits more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than all cars on the road in the same region combined. In 2020, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment in Colorado created 9,811 tons of VOCs, 77% of which were emitted in the 9-county Front Range area (7,588 tons). VOCs are a major contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, and also include benzene, formaldehyde, and 1,3-butadiene, air pollutants linked to increased cancer risk.  

Making the transition to electric  

No longer limited by cords, electric lawn and garden equipment is cleaner, quieter and, over a lifetime of use, often cheaper than fossil fuel-powered options, as noted in the report. Thanks to recent advances in battery technology, electric equipment is also comparable in quality and performance to gasoline-powered equipment. It’s increasingly easy to find at major hardware stores and suppliers, with dozens of options for electric mowers, trimmers and other types of equipment currently on the market.  

Colorado is leading the way in making the transition to electric equipment. A state electrification initiative led by Senator Chris Hanson, who also spoke on Oct. 30 at the report’s release, will enable Colorado residents to receive a 30% “point of sale” instant discount on electric lawn and garden equipment at participating retailers beginning in 2024.  

Mow Down Pollution, a RAQC-run program, helps residents, businesses, and local governments transition from dirty, gas-powered equipment to electric alternatives. The RAQC has also submitted a proposal for consideration this December by the Air Quality Control Commission to reduce emissions from lawn and garden equipment in the ozone nonattainment region using grants for government and commercial electrification, discounts on electric equipment, and sales restrictions on gasoline equipment within the nonattainment area.   

“Ozone is a significant issue for us,” said Silverstein. “Our proposal would lead to rapid reductions [in air pollution] and fundamental change in our summertime air quality.”  

Board Announcements

Next Board Meeting

When
Friday, May 3, 2024
9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Agenda

Where
Hybrid In-Person Meeting
In-Person:
1445 Market Street, 4th Floor Board Room, Denver.
Remote:
Zoom Registration REQUIRED (See Agenda)

Committee Meeting Information