Chandra Rosenthal, Rocky Mountain Field Office director for PEER, said the division clearly needs more people. She estimated it employs two people who conduct predictive modeling and about 30 permit engineers, all of whom are swamped with work. Oeth couldn’t immediately confirm whether the staffing estimate was accurate.
“If modeling was being done correctly, there’s no way with only two air modelers that they could keep up,” Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal, however, expressed optimism that the division is moving more in “the right direction,” but acknowledged more work is needed to boost accountability and transparency.
In addition to money for the Air Pollution Control Division, Polis’ proposal would set aside $50 million in grants to fund industrial improvements and reduce emission of pollutants and particulates, $7 million for aerial and ground-based monitoring around oil and gas facilities and $5 million to help communities dependent on coal transition away from the industry.