The newly released EPA report notes that Colorado officials are already working to implement recommendations to improve their handling of what is formally known as the Minor New Source Review permitting program. Among other steps, the agency has implemented “stringent interim guidance” for modeling of minor source permits and also convened an expert scientific panel to evaluate the Air Pollution Control Division’s approach, spokesperson Leah Schleifer said in an email.
But at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represented the whistleblowers in bringing the complaint, staff counsel Kevin Bell said that the Colorado agency has known “of every fact in this report for years.”
“While we are happy that EPA validated these damning disclosures, the state has yet to institute meaningful reforms or even fully staff the modeling division,” Bell said in a statement. “Colorado’s state government needs to get out of its own way and let its experts do their job.”