Garfield County funds air quality study through 2019 | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County funds air quality study through 2019

Staff Report

As part of an intergovernmental agreement with Colorado State University, the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners approved $75,000 toward an air quality study that will analyze the sources of volatile organic compounds in the area.

“We’ve collected a very robust catalogue of VOCs since 2008,” Garfield County Environmental Health Specialist Morgan Hill said in a news release. “We’re taking the investment we’ve made in years of data collected and interpreting it in a more comprehensive way.”

The study will focus on natural gas production, vehicle traffic and vegetation sources, and be conducted by the same research team that collected data in the $1 million Garfield County Natural Gas Emissions study from 2008-16, the press release states.

The county has five long-standing ambient air monitoring sites located in Carbondale, south of Silt, downtown Rifle, downtown Parachute and Battlement Mesa. CSU will also collect 15 new canister samples near potential VOC sources in the county, according to the press release.

“It is expected that these [VOC sources] will include emissions from vehicle traffic, vegetation, and natural gas production,” the proposal notes. “The canisters will be analyzed for a suite of VOCs in the laboratory on the CSU campus.”

Hill added that this study is different from the previous CSU air emissions study, in that the county is taking a more active role as a partner.

The IGA was approved unanimously by the commissioners.

“It’s unanimous. We’re behind you,” said Commissioner John Martin. “Let’s keep it going. Let’s keep the air clean.”

The VOC Source Apportionment study will operate for one year through April 2019, at which time the results will be published.