COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Air Pollution Control Division is implementing more strict requirements for general permit applications for businesses in an attempt to reign in air pollution.

General permits are for minor sources of air pollution, and the limits for such pollution are regulated on a Federal and state level.

“The EPA has informed us that they will be offering more specific guidance on issuing general permits in the coming years, and we welcome that guidance,” said Trisha Oeth, director of Environmental Health and Protection at CDPHE. “But we also cannot wait to enact more protective measures in our general permits, so that’s why we’re moving ahead now. Colorado is choosing to lead, once again, on reducing air pollution and protecting our environment.”

Businesses will now have to complete a checklist as part of new applications. The checklist certifies that the business performed a more robust review of construction projects that create a new source of air pollution.

The review makes sure the projects will not exceed federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

“Colorado is leading the nation with these protective modeling requirements. Very few states have implemented a process like this,” said Michael Ogletree, director of the Air Pollution Control Division. “We recognize there is still more work to be done with our general permitting program, and we will continue to innovate our processes to protect air quality and the public’s health.”

Because the state legislature chose to invest in reducing air pollution last session, the division is in the process of hiring more staff to take on the increased workload related to permitting and modeling.

In the coming months, the division will continue evaluating more changes to the general permit process. The division said it is committed to making sure new minor sources are as protective as possible, while following all Federal and state regulations.