Four Corners task force finalizing air quality report

Santa Fe, New Mexico (AP) 11-07

A task force that spent two years studying air quality issues in the Four Corners region plans its last meeting in Durango, Colo., during November, but says efforts to draw attention to air quality will continue.

“We all share a common goal of cleaner, healthier air for residents of the region. We will continue to work toward that end well beyond November,” said Mary Uhl, chief of the state Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau.

The Four Corners Air Quality Task Force, convened by the states of New Mexico and Colorado, has met quarterly since November 2005 to discuss the impacts of oil and gas production, coal-fired power plants, growth and other factors on the region’s air quality.

The panel’s final report compiled papers on mitigation options and other information. The agencies involved in the task force have not adopted those options, which are meant as a resource for policy makers.

Michael Silverstein, deputy director of the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, said the task force was only the first step in protecting and improving air quality, and that air quality still requires attention.

“The final hour of this last meeting is devoted to discussing the path forward,” he said. “The states, federal land managers, tribal nations, industry and others will keep the lines of communication active and open, meet when needed and be ready to serve as a valuable resource to policy makers faced with some important choices regarding air quality.”

Task force membership includes federal land managers, federal and state environmental regulators, industry, American Indian tribes and other residents.

On the Net:

Task force report: www.4cornersair.org
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