DENVER, CO – The House Energy and Environment Committee passed a bill to create a healthier Colorado through air quality improvements and transit investments after the Front Range was declared a “severe” violator of federal ozone standards by the EPA. SB22-193 passed committee by a vote of 8 to 4.
“Prioritizing clean air improves our health and builds a pathway toward a healthier future for every Coloradan,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood. “This transformational investment tackles air pollution from multiple angles, including improving air monitoring, electrifying school buses and cutting back on industrial emissions. Together, we’re investing in a cleaner future for ourselves and generations to come.”
“Too often, disadvantaged communities and low-income Coloradans are exposed to higher rates of air pollutants and toxic emissions,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee. “We have a plan to invest in clean air solutions, including electrifying school buses so our youngest Coloradans can breathe cleaner, healthier air. These record investments will work to clean up Colorado’s air and cut back on industrial emissions.”
SB22-193, sponsored by Representatives Meg Froelich and Alex Valdez, would provide funding for several different programs in the transportation and industrial sectors, as well as the Department of Public Health and Environment, to reduce emissions and improve Colorado’s air quality. The bill includes record investments in clean transportation initiatives and air quality monitoring and incentives.
SB22-193 will invest $109 million to improve Colorado’s air quality. This includes:
$65 million for the Electrifying School Buses Grant Program to help school districts and charter schools convert and replace fossil-fuel reliant school buses with electric-powered school buses.
$25 million for the Industrial and Manufacturing Operations Clean Air Grant Program to help private entities, local governments, and public-private partnerships finance projects to reduce industrial emissions through different technologies such as beneficial electrification, renewable energy projects, and methane capture.
$12 million for the Community Access to Electric Bicycles Grant and Rebate programs which will ease and accelerate the adoption of electric bicycles by providing businesses, local governments, and individuals discounted e-bikes and easier access to e-bike sharing programs.
$7 million for increased and expanded aerial surveying and localized monitoring to help identify leaks at oil and gas facilities.