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National report says Glenwood has dangerous ozone levels; county and state disagree

Apr 20, 2016

Glenwood Springs.
Credit Jutulen/Wikipedia

  This week the American Lung Association, or ALA, released its review of air quality around the country. The national organization says Glenwood Springs has dangerously high levels of pollution.

But local and state officials don’t agree with the analysis. The annual report card has come under fire in the past, notably when an ALA spokesperson dramatically overestimated the level of air pollution in Denver. That was last year.

This time around, the organization says Glenwood Springs is 25th in the nation for having the most unhealthy levels of ozone. Environmental health specialist Morgan Hill keeps an eye on air quality for Garfield County. She said data have been collected since 2008. Most of that is in Rifle, but all of the levels show the county is well within national requirements for safe ozone levels.

“We were not monitoring those levels in Glenwood during the years that were analyzed in the American Lung Association’s report,” Hill said after ALA’s review was released. It focuses between 2012 and 2014. “However, we were monitoring ozone using our mobile air monitoring unit in 2015, and also saw low levels of ozone in Glenwood Springs.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment this week agreed with Hill’s assessment of air quality readings in Garfield County over the last few years.