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Posted on: October 22, 2019

City Air Monitor Registers 290 Days of Clean Air in 2018

PRESS RELEASE

City Air Monitor Registers 290 Days of Clean Air in 2018


Contact: Jannette Whitcomb, Senior Environmental Health Specialist, 970-920-5069 or Jannette.whitcomb@cityofaspen.com

Aspen, CO –October 22, 2019 – The release of the 2018 City of Aspen Air Quality Report shows that the Aspen area continues to enjoy good air quality due to programs put in place starting in the 90s to improve and maintain healthy and clean air standards.  In 2018, Aspen air quality monitors measured 290 days of good air, 69 days of moderate air, and 6 days of air unhealthy for sensitive populations. “It is important to note that the 69 days of moderate air only means that there were detectable levels of pollution but not enough to impact anyone’s health or outside activity” said Jannette Whitcomb, air quality specialist for the City of Aspen. Factors that contributed to days unhealthy for sensitive populations were forest fires burning in the Western United States and specifically, a number of those days were directly linked to the Lake Christine Fire in Basalt.

For the first time the City has released a summary report that illustrates 2018 air quality conditions and highlights the regulations and contributions of various city departments and community partners towards keeping Aspen’s air clean.  “Although people expect clean air in the mountains it hasn’t always been that way nor is it easy to maintain,” said Jannette Whitcomb, “I am proud of the work city staff do to protect Aspen’s clear clean vistas.”  

Aspen’s air quality has improved dramatically since the 1970s when the City was in violation of EPA standards for clean air due to particulate pollution, specifically PM10.  Through calculated strategy, the City has improved its air quality with programs such as free in-town transit, carpool incentive programs, tree planting, and regulatory ordinances like banning wood-burning fireplaces, idling for more than 5 minutes, and instituting pollution standards on restaurant grills and commercial diesel vehicles.

The City monitors ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5, and PM 10) from two monitors located within City limits.

The community can continue to contribute to Aspen’s clean air by using alternative methods of transportation including RFTA, WE-Cycle, the Downtowner, and Car to Go. The public can stay up to date on Aspen’s clean air by going to aspenairquality.com which provides real-time air quality information.

A complete copy of the report can be found at www.cityofaspen.com/303/Aspens-Clean-Air-Story



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