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AQ Planning - SIP

AQ Planning

Ensuring Compliance with Federal Air Quality Standards

The Problem

Since the late 1990’s the primary pollutant of concern in the Denver Metro/North Front Range (DM/NFR) region has been ozone.  The region has been in nonattainment for each of the various ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for some period of time. Currently, the region is attaining both the original 1-hour ozone standard and the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, both of which have since been revoked.  The region continues to be in nonattainment for the 2008 standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb), and the 2015 ozone standard of 70 ppb.  In order to attain both of these standards, the Clean Air Act outlines specific requirements regions must meet in order to ensure timely attainment of the standards.  The RAQC’s mission is to develop clean air plans and evaluate potential control strategies to reduce regional emissions and protect public health.

The Program

The RAQC, through its planning process, works with State agencies, local government, industry, environmental groups, and citizens to develop clean air plans, otherwise known as State Implementation Plans (SIP), for the DM/NFR ozone nonattainment area and evaluate the impact of various emissions reduction strategies at reducing ozone levels in the region.  These plans and analyses are vetted through the RAQC’s planning committee, which are a subset of the RAQC Board of Directors.  More information on specific plans and efforts can be found with the links below. For detailed information on Colorado attainment plans developed by the RAQC, please see Colorado’s State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for all pollutants

Ozone Tracking


Ozone Summary Tables

Ozone summary tables are updated weekly during Ozone season. The most recent summary table can be found here. Historic summary tables are available here.


Ozone Modeling

To aid in evaluating the impact of emissions control strategies as well as developing Attainment Demonstrations as part of State Implementation Plan (SIP) requirements, the RAQC also engages in photochemical modeling efforts.

Control Strategies

Evaluation and implementation of control strategies is a key element of air quality planning.  The RAQC’s Control Strategy Committee continues to actively evaluate and pursue effective air pollution control strategies in the DM/NFR.  Strategies are being evaluated in the following categories: