Officials Meet in GJ to Talk Air Quality
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. On Thursday commissioners with the Colorado Air Control Commission were in Grand Junction for a public forum. The forum is an opportunity for the commission to hear about issues communities in the region are concerned about.
Registered nurse and Grand Valley local Benita Phillips, said, "If we pollute those things that are required for human life, there will be no human life."
As air quality commissioners discuss key issues in Grand Junction, citizens get a chance to voice their concerns.
Charles Kerr, a retired teacher and an environmentalist, said, "As oil and gas development comes into this valley, it needs to come in as a good citizen."
"I want to hear what their long term plans are, in terms of oil and gas drilling and other air quality issues that we have," said Phillips.
With inversions occurring each winter in the Grand Valley, citizens say air quality cannot be compromised any further. From mid December to mid February of this year officials say Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose residents experienced a record of 47 days exceeding federal air quality levels due to inverted cold air which hovered over the Grand Valley.
"We all know people who have asthma, bronchitis, who suffer greatly while living here," said Kerr.
Residents say they want commissioners to enact commonsense rules.
"We need to develop our oil and gas but we need to do it with the air pollution controls that the industry has developed," Kerr said.
Teresa Coons, the only Western Slope representative with the Colorado Air Quality Commission, said, "So we're looking at how we can encourage the industry and work with the industry to improve the technologies so there are fewer emissions of volatile organic compounds, methane."
"We have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that have been made," said Kerr.
"Here's the thing, the bottom line is, is that to live we have to breath," said Phillips.
On Thursday evening the public is invited to make comments in front of the commission. That begins at 7 and is expected to go until around 9:30. The forum will be held at the Grand Junction City Auditorium located at 250 North 5th St.