- additional authority
(1)Except as provided in sections 25-7-130 and 25-7-131, the commission shall have maximum flexibility in developing an effective air quality control program and may promulgate such combination of regulations as may be necessary or desirable to carry out that program; except that such program and regulations shall be consistent with the legislative declaration set forth in section 25-7-102. Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to:
(a)Classification and, as appropriate, reclassification of the state into attainment, nonattainment, and unclassifiable areas, and division of the state into such control regions or areas as may be necessary or desirable for effective administration of this article;
(b)Classification and definition of different degrees or types of air pollution;
(c)Emission control regulations that are applicable to the entire state, that are applicable only within specified areas or zones of the state, or that are applicable only when a specified class of pollution is present;
(d)Development of a high altitude performance adjustment program for motor vehicles to the extent authorized by section 215 of the federal act;
(e)Development of a control or prohibition respecting the use of a fuel or fuel additives in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine to the extent authorized by section 211(c) of the federal act if, based on sound scientific data, the commission finds that a measurable reduction in ambient concentrations of criteria pollutants or other pollutants shall occur.
(2)The commission may hold public hearings, issue notice of hearings, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence, administer oaths, and take such testimony as it deems necessary, all in conformity with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., and with sections 25-7-110 and 25-7-119.
(3)The commission may adopt such rules and regulations in conformity with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., governing procedures before the commission as may be necessary to assure that hearings before the commission will be fair and impartial.
(4)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)In the event the commission, after hearing, finds and determines that a particular style or model of automobile air pollution control device is not sufficiently effective to justify the continued connection and operation of such device, the commission shall so notify the department of revenue; thereafter, all devices of such particular style or model shall be exempt from the provisions of section 42-4-314, C.R.S.
(5)The commission may exercise all incidental powers necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
(6)The commission may require the owner or operator, or both, of any air pollution source to:
(a)Establish and maintain reports as prescribed by the commission;
(b)Install, use, and maintain monitoring equipment or methods as prescribed by the commission;
(c)Record, monitor, and sample emissions in accordance with such methods, at such locations, at such intervals, and in such manner as the commission shall prescribe;
(d)Provide such other information as the commission may require.
(7)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The commission is specifically authorized and directed to develop a program to apply and enforce every relevant provision of the state implementation plan and every relevant emission control strategy to minimize emissions, including the impacts of actions by significant users of prescribed fire, including federal, state, and local government, and private land managers that are significant users of prescribed fire. The program developed by the commission under this subsection (7) shall include, but not be limited to, the imposition of any fees necessary to administer the program, including the recovery of costs by the state for the evaluation of planning documents pursuant to subsection (8) of this section, and the imposition of penalties pursuant to section 25-7-122.
(b)The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that the Grand Canyon visibility transport commission’s recommendations for improving western vistas report identified the emissions from fire, both wildfire and prescribed fires, as likely to have the single greatest impact on visibility at class I areas through the year 2040. The emissions from fire, both wildfire and prescribed fire, are an important episodic contributor to visibility impairing aerosols. The Grand Canyon visibility transport commission report identified that significant amounts of visibility impairment result from activities on federal lands, from mobile sources, and from Mexico.
(c)The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares that emissions from grassland and forest fires have substantial episodic impacts on ambient air quality throughout the state and are a major source of visibility impairment over which this state has jurisdiction but has not yet developed a comprehensive program to reduce such impairment.
(d)The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares that the standard in its statement of legislative purpose in section 25-7-102 of the “Colorado Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act” requiring the use of all practical methods that are technologically feasible and economically reasonable so as to reduce, prevent, and control air pollution is an appropriate standard to apply in relation to air pollution emissions resulting from the use of prescribed fire in grassland and forest management.
(e)This subsection (7) and subsection (8) of this section are adopted pursuant to section 118 of the federal act and shall be construed to exercise the full extent of the state’s authority as granted by the provisions of said federal act. The federal government, as the only landowner of its size in the state and the only landowner in the state other than the state government itself that routinely prepares plans involving the management of grassland and forest lands using prescribed fire, is appropriately subject to the requirements of this section pertaining to review and approval of planning documents.
(f)Persons owning or managing large parcels of land who significantly use prescribed fire as a grassland or forest management tool shall prepare plans addressing the use and role of prescribed fire and the air quality impacts resulting therefrom, and such plans are appropriately subject to the review requirements of this section. The state, by reviewing these types of plans, can achieve significant progress towards cooperatively reducing emissions from those lands that impact visibility in Colorado.
(g)As used in this subsection (7) and in subsection (8) of this section, the term “significant user of prescribed fire” means a federal, state, or local agency or significant management unit thereof or person that collectively manages or owns more than ten thousand acres of grasslands or forest lands within the state of Colorado and that uses prescribed fire. The adoption of a fire management plan by a local or county unit of government pursuant to section 30-11-124, C.R.S., does not constitute management for purposes of this section unless the county or local unit of government owns or manages more than ten thousand acres and is a significant user of prescribed fire. “Prescribed fire” means fire that is intentionally used for grassland or forest management, regardless of whether the fire is caused by natural or human sources. Prescribed fire does not include open burning in the course of agricultural operations and does not include open burning for the purpose of maintaining water conveyance structures, unless the commission acts pursuant to section 25-7-123. The commission shall by rule exempt from the program developed pursuant to this subsection (7) those sources that have an insignificant impact on visibility and air quality.
(8)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The commission, in exercising the powers conferred by subsection (7) of this section and this subsection (8), shall require all significant users of prescribed fire, including federal agencies for activities directly conducted by or on behalf of federal agencies on federal lands, to minimize emissions using all available, practicable methods that are technologically feasible and economically reasonable in order to minimize the impact or reduce the potential for such impact on both the attainment and maintenance of national ambient air quality standards and the achievement of federal and state visibility goals.
(b)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(I)In order to ensure compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection (8), significant users of prescribed fire shall submit planning documents to the commission. The commission shall then conduct a public hearing to review each planning document submitted relevant to achieving the goal of minimizing emissions and impacts as set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (8). Only one hearing shall be held for each planning document. The commission shall hold a hearing and complete its review of the planning documents submitted by any significant user of prescribed fire within forty-five days of their receipt by the commission, unless otherwise agreed to by the significant user of prescribed fire.
(II)As used in this paragraph (b), “planning documents” means documents that summarize the use of prescribed fire as a grassland or forest management tool and the associated discharge or release of air pollution and that demonstrate how compliance with the state standard expressed in section 25-7-102 shall be achieved. “Planning documents” shall include land management plans or a summary of the equivalent information that explains and supports the land management criteria evaluated and the decision to use prescribed fire as the fuel treatment method. Planning documents shall include a discussion of the alternatives considered and a discussion of how prescribed fire, if selected, minimizes the risk of wildfire.
(III)The commission shall have discretion to adopt rules governing the resubmission of planning documents to prevent such plans from becoming outdated.
(c)Following a public hearing, the commission shall comment and make recommendations to the significant user of prescribed fire regarding any changes to elements of the plan relating to the discharge or release of air pollutants that the commission finds necessary to comply with the state standard expressed in section 25-7-102.
Section 25-7-106 — Commission - additional authority,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-25.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).