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First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R97@0800.01 BWM






WHEREAS, The national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) should be established at levels necessary to protect public health, based on sound technical and scientific data; and

WHEREAS, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under court order to review the particulate matter (PM) NAAQS and must make a final decision by July 19, 1997; and

WHEREAS, On November 27, 1996, the EPA proposed tightening the PM NAAQS by adding a separate standard for PM 2.5 to the existing PM 10 standard; and

WHEREAS, Since the federal Clean Air Act was signed into law in 1970, the American public continues to benefit from air quality programs that have resulted in significant decreases in emissions of all the six criteria air pollutants and in improved air quality, including decreases in ambient concentrations of all criteria pollutants despite growth in population and vehicle use, and a twenty percent decrease in ambient concentrations of PM 10 between 1985 and 1994; and

WHEREAS, Recent epidemiological studies indicate a correlation between ambient PM concentrations and adverse health effects, raising serious concerns that must be promptly and thoroughly investigated; and

WHEREAS, The EPA has indicated that a comprehensive research program is needed to determine proper ambient concentrations and control strategies to protect public health, and Congress has given the agency $18.8 million to find significant new research on health effects, exposure, monitoring, and modeling studies for PM; and

WHEREAS, Additional research is needed because there is very little PM 2.5 monitoring data, and current research indicates that there is insufficient data available to decide what changes, if any, should be made to the current PM NAAQS; and

WHEREAS, The EPA's independent clean air scientific advisory committee has noted that a number of serious questions remain unanswered and concluded that "our understanding of the health effects of [particulates] is far from complete"; and

WHEREAS, Establishment of a new PM 2.5 standard could result in the addition of many new nonattainment areas in the United States, placing potentially unjustified financial and regulatory burdens upon consumers, businesses, and vehicle users as states impose stringent new control technologies designed to bring areas into compliance with new standards not based on sound scientific principles; and

WHEREAS, On November 27, 1996, the EPA also proposed a new and more stringent NAAQS for ozone, though no court order required the agency to do so, and study of the proposed new ozone standard has also not been completed; and

WHEREAS, According to the EPA, the new ozone standard will increase the number of ozone nonattainment areas nationally by more than three times, to more than 330 counties; and

WHEREAS, The EPA's own analysis concludes that the cost of complying with the new ozone standard will be many times greater than the anticipated health benefits; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

(1)  That the General Assembly of the state of Colorado urges the EPA to do the substantial scientific research program called for by the clean air scientific advisory committee in order to reduce the uncertainties in estimating the health risk of exposure to PM and to answer the critical questions regarding causality, toxicological mechanisms, exposure, confounders, measurement errors, and statistical modeling before establishing a new PM 2.5 NAAQS or revising the PM 10 NAAQS;

(2)  That the General Assembly considers, as the best method of protecting public health, the gathering of data and the conducting of research and analysis to clearly identify the pollutants responsible for adverse health effects before new standards, if necessary, are set and control programs implemented to reduce emissions;

(3)  That the General Assembly calls upon the EPA to end the setting of standards before gathering data and completing research and analysis, as the agency did in this case, and to seek facts before establishing new standards;

(4)  That the General Assembly requests the EPA to identify any unfunded mandates or other administrative and economic burdens for state and local governments caused by adoption of the proposed new PM and ozone NAAQS;

(5)  That the General Assembly requests the EPA to support work by states and tribes to simplify the process of developing plans to maintain compliance with existing NAAQS and to identify market­based and other economic approaches as an alternative to traditional regulatory approaches; and

(6)  That the General Assembly urges the Congress of the United States to conduct oversight hearings concerning the need for these new standards.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the administrator of the EPA, to the administrator of EPA Region Eight, and to each member of Colorado's Congressional delegation.