Air monitoring station at Colorado Parks and Wildlife facility

BLM Colorado Air Program

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency have the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate air quality standards. The BLM does not regulate air quality. The BLM cooperates with these agencies to ensure activities it authorizes are in accordance with regulations. The BLM also cooperates with industry and other agencies to establish, operate and maintain an air monitoring network. Examples of air quality analysis include:• Developing standardized protocols for addressing air quality concerns for BLM-authorized actions. • Developing air pollutant emissions inventories for proposed activities.

• Assessing how potential BLM-authorized activities affect local and regional air quality.
• Using monitoring to assess conditions and inform decisions.
• Working with stakeholders to address emerging issues, analysis, monitoring and regional modeling.
• Ensuring authorizations include appropriate stipulations or conditions of approval in accordance with the applicable thresholds.
• Assessing how proposed actions, alternatives, resources and resource uses may affect and be affected by climate change.

Project Story

BLM Colorado works to protect air resources in Colorado in accordance with the directives provided by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and our internal Comprehensive Air Resource Protection Protocol (CARPP).  We partner with other agencies that have specific expertise for air resource related concerns such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  Development of technical resources such as air quality modelling platforms, emissions inventory tools and other applications provide for comprehensive NEPA assessments, and facilitate collaboration with our partners and air quality project working groups.  Many of these partnerships are formalized via Memorandum of Understandings (MOU), which include the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force MOU, the Intermountain West Data Warehouse Cooperators MOU, and the National Air Quality Analysis and Mitigation Oil and Gas MOU (for federal decisions).

We also work closely with a variety of local stakeholders to support our air quality monitoring program.  As of 2016, the BLM fields one jointly funded and three wholly funded federal reference monitor sites across Colorado.  We also support several National Atmospheric Disposition Program (NADP) sites in Colorado, all of which require us to partner with local organizations to enable the program. These partners include the EPA, CDPHE Air Pollution Control Division, National Park Service and several counties, as well as the University of Illinois (NADP).

BLM Air Resource Specialists meet with National Park Service employees at annual meeting.