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RAQC Answers Common Questions About Employer-based Trip Reduction Programs and How They Can Benefit Air Quality

The RAQC has developed two new documents that provide information and timelines about the two federal ozone standards affecting our region, Employer-based Trip Reduction Programs and how they are one of many strategies that can reduce emissions, improve air quality and help our region attain those standards. See below for both documents.

Questions & Answers: Benefits of Employer-based Trip Reduction Programs in Our Region 

Timeline & Processes: 2008 Ozone Standard, Potential Severe Reclassification and State-Only Flexible ETRP

The RAQC and CEO Open Charge Ahead Colorado Application for Electric Vehicle and Charging Station Funding

The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) and Colorado Energy Office (CEO) have opened the Charge Ahead Colorado application for electric vehicle (EV) and charging station funding. At this time, the RAQC has funding for both charging stations and EVs for applicants within the Denver Metro Area. CEO has funding for charging stations for applicants outside the Denver Metro Area. All charging stations are required to be networked.

An application guide, informational webinar, application and other grant resources can be found on the Charge Ahead Colorado Homepage.

Current 8-Hour Ozone Summary

Ozone Summary through September 27, 20208- 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) and consistent with Data Reporting and Handling Conventions outlined in 40 CFR Part...

Xcel Energy Announces Another Application Round for Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure Program

Complementary to the RAQC’s Charge Ahead Colorado (CAC) program, Xcel Energy is once again offering Colorado businesses and organizations an opportunity to add electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to their locations through their Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure Program. Eligible organizations can offer these EV charging stations to their own fleet vehicles and customers or to the public. The Xcel Energy program can help you install the electrical infrastructure needed for the EV charging stations at no cost. See more information about the program, if your organization/company is eligible and how to apply here. The application is currently open through October 22nd, and projects will be awarded and program steps will begin in mid-November 2020.

The RAQC’s CAC program, in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office, currently offers grant funding for charging station projects, with the next funding round opening Oct. 1st. The Xcel Energy program provides a great opportunity to supplement charging station project costs in conjunction with CAC funding. This makes providing charging stations an affordable option in many settings with the significant support currently being offered. Project implementation timelines for the Xcel and RAQC programs are flexible enough to take advantage of both funding opportunities. Adoption of electric vehicles is critical to improve air quality and meet the State’s environmental goals.

EPA Administrator proposes maintaining standards for ground-level ozone

On August 14, 2020, the EPA Administration published in the Federal Register a proposal to maintain the current level and form of the primary and secondary ozone standard of 70 parts per billion (ppb).  More information on the proposal can be found at: .  EPA is seeking comment on the proposed action. A will be held on August 31, 2020 and September 1, 2020.

RAQC Partner Agencies Launch Comprehensive Clean Trucking Strategy

On July 14th, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Colorado Energy Office (CEO) announced that the state is signing a multi-state Memorandum of Understanding to work collaboratively to advance the market for electric trucks and buses. The agencies also announced a public process to work with the industry and community stakeholders to develop a broad set of strategies to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. With transportation now the largest source of air pollution in Colorado — and with our economy increasingly reliant on freight, as exemplified during the COVID-19 crisis — it is critical that the state develop a thoughtful and balanced approach that provides a pathway for emissions reductions from this key sector.

You can read the press release here.

The RAQC is Taking Public Comment on the Serious SIP

In response to being reclassified to a Serious ozone nonattainment area by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), effective January 2020, the RAQC, in close coordination with the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division and EPA Region 8 staff, have developed a draft Serious State Implementation Plan for the Denver Metro and North Front Range Ozone Nonattainment Area under the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard.

 

At this time, the RAQC is requesting the public review the draft plan and provide comment. Written comment can be submitted through July 31, 2020 at sipcomments@raqc.org. Oral comments will be accepted at the RAQC’s August meeting, and are limited to three minutes per person. Please email  sipcomments@raqc.org by August 5th if you plan to submit oral testimony.

The RAQC and Home Depot Unveil New Mow Down Pollution – Lawn Mower Exchange Program!

In an effort to reduce ground-level ozone and improve air quality in the Denver Metro/North Front Range areas, the RAQC and our program partners are excited to launch a new Mow Down Pollution – Lawn Mower Exchange program with The Home Depot! The RAQC will offer $150 vouchers to people who choose to recycle and replace their gas-powered lawn mowers with rechargeable or corded electric lawn mowers at participating Home Depots. 

Get more information at the Mow Down Pollution program website and flyer.