FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Fort Collins air quality was in the news last week as the Environmental Protection Agency announced the region has again missed the mark for federal ozone standards.
North Front Range air quality has lagged behind that of the rest of the country for more than a decade because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone, a key component of smog born when common pollutants interact with sunlight. Ozone and smog inhalation can lead to respiratory health issues, and many studies have tied it to heart disease.
The nine-county North Front Range region, which includes Larimer, Weld and Denver counties among others, will soon be considered in "serious" noncompliance with a federal ozone standard set in 2008. The region was previously considered in "moderate" noncompliance. It's also out of compliance with a more stringent standard set in 2015.
As a result of the new classification, Colorado will have to adopt more emission controls for the region's industrial, transportation and consumer sectors.
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