Grand Junction air-quality hearing set

We all breathe, so why not make your voice heard?

Members of the state’s Air Quality Control Commission will be in Grand Junction on Thursday and Friday for their annual retreat.

They will take comments about air quality in the Grand Valley at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Junction City Hall auditorium, 250 North Fifth St.

Karen Sjoberg, of the local startup group Citizens for Clean Air, said she became concerned about the area’s air quality after a nasty inversion settled in this winter. About a dozen volunteers attend regular group meetings and about 20 people receive alerts about the group’s activities, she said.

Sjoberg said the air quality was so bad this past winter that a black muck accumulated on a face mask she wore to keep warm. She’s heard stories of physicians advising patients with respiratory problems to leave the Grand Valley for a couple months in the winter to escape the bad air.

“I think that the inversion and all that pollution was a wake-up call to a lot of people,” she said. “For me, personally, I started looking at all the other issues. We need to do something now.”

The state’s commission members plan to discuss their strategic plan, the impact of oil and gas development, and they will be briefed by David Ludlam and John Jacus of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, with a discussion to follow. On Friday, commission members will visit several sites around the Grand Valley that contribute to air pollution.

Public comment is limited to Thursday night’s meeting. Individuals can speak for up to three minutes and groups can speak for 10 minutes. Anyone bringing materials should plan to bring 13 copies to distribute to staff and commission members.


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