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Air Quality

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Fort Collins Air Quality Policies

Fort Collins Air Quality Policies look to the future of air quality in Fort Collins. They provide the official direction of the City of Fort Collins regarding air quality and will be used to guide the development of staff work plans, City programs, budget recommendations, and other implementation strategies.

In June 2004, City Council adopted updated the air quality principles and policies. The updated policies are contained in the 2004 Air Quality Plan (link to Air Quality Plan PDF) and are listed below.

Fort Collins Air Quality Vision and Goals

Our community will continually improve air quality as the city grows by applying strong, comprehensive policies and strategies to address air quality issues.

The City will strive to reduce tailpipe emissions though clean technologies and by reducing the rate of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by promoting a multi-modal transportation system that offers choices. The City will continue to invest in transit, walking, and cycling capacity and encourage residents to use alternative travel modes, to help shift travel choices toward alternatives that reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.

Fort Collins Air Quality Principles and Policies

PRINCIPLE ENV-1: Continually improve Fort Collins' air quality as the city grows.

Policy ENV-1.1 Air Quality Plan. The City will adopt and implement a comprehensive Air Quality Plan that addresses the following issues:
  • Emissions from vehicles
  • Emissions from commerce and industry
  • Wood burning
  • Visual air quality
  • Certain indoor air pollutants and greenhouse gases
Policy ENV-1.2 City-Wide approach. The City's primary approach to improving air pollution is to reduce total city-wide emissions over the long term. The City's secondary approach is to assure that localized air pollution exposures conform to adopted health standards.

Policy AQ-1.3 Pollution Prevention. The City will promote prevention of air pollution at its source as the highest priority approach in reducing air pollution emissions.

Policy AQ-1.4 Priority Pollutants. The City will focus its efforts on reducing high priority air pollutants including ozone, fine particles, mobile source hazardous air pollutants, and greenhouse gases, followed by efforts to reduce medium priority pollutants including indoor air pollutants, nitrogen oxides, PM10, industrial hazardous air pollutants, and carbon monoxide.

Policy AQ-1.5 Toolbox of Approaches. The City will seek to achieve local air quality goals through education, incentives and price mechanisms, and regulation.

Policy AQ-1.6 Measurement. The City will measure, review, and report the progress of key air quality indicators at least twice prior to the next update of the Air Quality Plan to determine whether action strategies are having the desired effect or need to be amended.

Policy AQ-1.7 Air Quality Information. The City will report available air quality information to the public on a frequent and regular basis. The City will assist citizens in finding existing air quality information that is of interest to them.

Policy AQ-1.8 Enforcement. The City will support the provision of adequate responsibility, authority, and resources (funding and personnel) to agencies charged with the enforcement of federal, state, county, and local air quality regulations.

Policy AQ-1.9 Local Authority. The City will oppose any action of the State Legislature that restricts local government authority to improve air quality beyond minimum State requirements, even as the City recognizes and supports the vital role of the State of Colorado in improving air quality.

PRINCIPLE ENV-2: The City will reduce total motor vehicle emissions of high priority pollutants by focusing on both technology (tailpipe emissions) and behavior (driving patterns).

Policy ENV-2.1 Actions on Vehicle Miles Traveled. The City will slow the growth of vehicle-miles of travel by employing strategies that reduce vehicle trip rates, reduce vehicle trip length, and increase vehicle occupancy.

Policy ENV-2.3 Price Mechanisms. The City will use price mechanisms of the free market to help shift citizen and business choices toward actions that reduce vehicle miles traveled, including identifying and removing hidden cost subsidies to motor vehicle users, employing economic incentives and disincentives, and other market approaches.

PRINCIPLE AQ-12. The City will reduce tailpipe and evaporative emissions from highway and non-road mobile sources.

Policy ENV-2.4 Actions on Tailpipe Emissions. The City will employ strategies to reduce per-mile emissions such as promotion of car maintenance, mechanic training, encouraging use of alternative fuels, purchasing clean vehicles, use of clean lawn and garden equipment, prohibition of smoking vehicles, consideration of a local emissions testing and repair program, and reducing traffic delays.

Policy AQ 12-1. Non-Road Emissions. The City will employ incentive programs and other strategies to reduce emissions from lawn and garden equipment, small and large construction equipment, and other non-road engines.

PRINCIPLE ENV-3. By 2010 the City will reduce greenhouse gas emission 30% below predicted worst-case 2010 levels in order to reduce the impact of the Fort Collins community on global warming.

Policy ENV-3.1. Local Action Plan. The City will adopt and implement a local action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Policy ENV-3.2. Biennial Report. The City Manager will prepare a biennial report outlining the City's progress on achieving its greenhouse gas reduction goal and recommending future actions.

PRINCIPLE AQ-13. The City will reduce commercial and industrial emissions in the Fort Collins area, focusing on priority pollutants.

Policy AQ-13.1 Business Assistance. The City will offer programs and assistance to local businesses interested in reducing their environmental impacts such as the voluntary business Climate Wise program.

PRINCIPLE AQ-14. The City will reduce residential emissions of priority pollutants in the Fort Collins area.

Policy AQ 14-1. Residential Wood Smoke. The City will reduce wood smoke emissions and the number of non-certified wood stoves and fireplaces in the Fort Collins area by, for example, insuring compliance with existing regulations, promoting alternatives to wood burning, and helping to resolve neighborhood wood smoke conflicts.

Policy AQ-14.2 Ozone Reduction. The City will reduce evaporative emissions associated with residential activities (lawn mowing, fueling, paint selection and storage) by, for example, educating citizens and providing incentives.

PRINCIPLE AQ-15. Recognizing the strong relationship between air quality and human health, the City will, within the scope of its ability, strive to protect and improve the air so it is healthy to breathe and free of levels of pollutants that harm human health.

Policy AQ-15.1 Health Partnerships. The City will solicit the cooperation and active participation of a diverse range of knowledgeable health professionals and members of the environmental health community to guide the development of policies so that they reflect priority health issues.

Policy AQ-15.2. Seek Solutions. The City will work to protect air quality by seeking solutions to high priority health-related air quality issues using already adopted health standards.

Policy AQ-15.3 Air Toxics Coordination. The City will work with County, State and Federal health officials to reduce the health risks posed by toxic air pollutants.

Policy AQ-15.4 Indoor Air Quality. Because indoor air pollution can be a serious issue, the City will educate and encourage its residents to reduce their exposure to indoor air pollution.

PRINCIPLE AQ-16. The City will lead by example in efforts to improve local air quality.

Policy AQ-16.1 Lead by Example. The City will make efforts to reduce and mitigate its own air pollution emissions before asking or requiring others to reduce and mitigate their emissions.

Policy ENV-2.2 Actions on VMT. To reduce VMT, the City will encourage its customers to use telephone, Internet, or other methods to register for City offerings and purchase tickets. The City will also minimize the need for driving by organizing offerings with a neighborhood focus, so participants don't have to travel long distances.

Policy AQ-16.2. Cooperation. The City will initiate and cooperate with other efforts to improve air quality, while avoiding unproductive duplication of effort. Others include government entities (other City departments, county, regional, state, national, global), the non-profit sector, businesses, and educational institutions.

Policy AQ-16.3 Innovations. The City will consider adoption of successful air quality improvement strategies in effect elsewhere, including municipal practices, public information campaigns, incentives and price mechanisms, and regulations.

1993/1997 Air Quality Policy Plan

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