May 29, 2017

Radio Golden #8 – June 22, 2012: air quality in Golden, the Jeffco schools bond & mill, and more

Special guests Jeremy Nichols (on air quality) and Obsidian (on great things for kids to do in Golden during the summer).

Curious about Golden’s air quality? Ever wonder about ozone pollution, or the impacts to Golden of Coors’ coal-fired power plant? Did you know that Coors does, in fact, have a coal-fired power plant? It’s all in Radio Golden episode #8. Check it out …

Vancouver's Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Vancouver’s Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Jacob's Golden Update: November 3, 2007

An update on the Downtown Golden Character Plan and the City Council will consider a resolution on regional ozone pollution. A new Clear Creek bridge and trail are on the way. We cover some news from the campaign trail and take a look at the upcoming (November 8th) City Council meeting. Thanks for being here.

[Read more...]

Jacob’s Golden Update: November 3, 2007

An update on the Downtown Golden Character Plan and the City Council will consider a resolution on regional ozone pollution. A new Clear Creek bridge and trail are on the way. We cover some news from the campaign trail and take a look at the upcoming (November 8th) City Council meeting. Thanks for being here.

[Read more...]

Jacob's Golden Update: October 26, 2007

This week we take a look at efforts to reduce ozone pollution across metro Denver, including Golden. Golden Ridge has a neighborhood meeting to discuss development. Mountain lions are sighted in north Golden and a new ice cream parlor is coming to downtown. Find out about the mayoral campaign and upcoming city council meetings.

[Read more...]

Jacob’s Golden Update: October 26, 2007

This week we take a look at efforts to reduce ozone pollution across metro Denver, including Golden. Golden Ridge has a neighborhood meeting to discuss development. Mountain lions are sighted in north Golden and a new ice cream parlor is coming to downtown. Find out about the mayoral campaign and upcoming city council meetings.

[Read more...]

Committee Vote on Bill to Protect Schools From Air Pollution

Representative Gwyn Green’s bill to help protect school children from harmful air pollution caused by highway traffic is scheduled for a vote in the House Education Committee Monday afternoon. House Bill 1293 would require school boards to consult with the state health department on health risks for new school sites before building new schools new highways and roads and would require CDOT to also consult the health department before building new roads near schools. A recent study in California found that children attending schools near highways are at higher risk of developing asthma or other serious health conditions. The playground at Mitchell Elementary is a short 84 feet from Highway 93. If CDOT’s vision of a six- or eight-lane superhighway through Golden were ever to become a reality that distance could become even shorter. You’ll find more info at the Mothers for Clean Air web site, including a list of legislators on the committee. If you have a moment you might call them Monday morning and express your opinion before their vote. You’ll find a fresh news story on the News 2 web site.

New Study Shows Link Between Highways and Lung Damage in Kids

The Denver Post a few days ago ran a story (which it pulled from the L.A. Times) on a new study showing that children living near busy highways experience serious lung problems that can lead to lifelong respiratory problems.  As the Post article explains:

“Children living near busy highways have significant impairments in the development of their lungs that can lead to respiratory problems for the rest of their lives, University of Southern California researchers have found in the largest and longest study of its kind.
The 13-year study of more than 3,600 children in 12 Southern California communities found that the damage from living near a freeway is about the same as that from living in communities with the highest pollution levels, the team reported Thursday in the online version of the medical journal Lancet.”

The fact that the Highway 93 is only 80 feet from the Michell Elementary playground and 300 from the front door is certainly cause for concern.

Air Quality Rules Strengthened

The Colorado Air Quality Commission voted yesterday to improve smog reduction requirements for oil and gas drilling operations in the Denver Metro area (yup, as a matter of fact there is a lot of oil and gas drilling in the Denver Metro area, mostly in Weld County) and across the state. This is a major deal: it’s not every day that clean air advocates overcome vigorous opposition from the oil and gas industry to help reduce pollution.

Back in October I successfully encouraged the Denver Regional Council of Governments to strongly support the proposed air quality improvements. As I’ve pointed out many times, Golden suffers from some of the worst air pollution on the Front Range, and most of it is the result of traffic congestion and industrial emissions elsewhere in the region. I am really pleased that the Commission voted as they did.

A new citizen group called Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action led the effort, and they write more about it on their Denver Ozone blog.