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Bill Tracker

based on: Profile: LWVCO - Environmental Quality & Climate Change

 
 
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Notes about this profile:

LAC Lobbyists: Jeannette Hillery, Amy Sherwood, Ann Sutton, Sandy Schuster


Bill: HB22-1011
Title: Wildfire Mitigation Incentives For Local Governments
Position
Custom Summary

Update (Feb 17)

Amendment in committee removed requirements for a dedicated revenue stream to qualify for grants and expanded other eligibility.  The bill Passed and was referred to Appropriations. 

HB 1011 Wildfire mitigation incentives for local governments.

The bill supports forest management and wildfire mitigation by local governments.

The bill creates the Wildfire Mitigation Incentives for Local Government Grant Program in Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) to provide grants to municipal and county governments for matching dedicated revenue raised for wildfire mitigation such as fuel breaks, forest thinning, wildfire fuel reduction, outreach to property owners and public.   The bill requests an appropriation of $6.9M.

Local government means county, municipality, city & county, home rule county. CSFS shall give preference in grants to priority areas and communities ranking high for social vulnerability (using previously defined and published tools), availability of dedicated and full-time employees to collaborate with private landowners, longer duration initiatives, and emphasis on a regional approach.  

League position on Land Use states, in part:  Each level of government in Colorado should recognize its responsibility to make land use decisions that protect our resources and preserve our quality of life. … Consideration and use of new techniques in land management and regulation which will reinforce and support our land use goals and objectives should be encouraged.

 

StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the establishment of a state grant program that provides funding to local governments that dedicate resources for wildfire mitigation purposes.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/04/2022)
House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
M. Snyder (D)
Senate SponsorsP. Lee (D)
T. Story (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeAppropriations
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1012
Title: Wildfire Mitigation And Recovery
Position
Custom Summary

Update (Feb 17)

Committee amendment changed the granting structure to directly within the existing FRWRM program instead of a new program.  The bill Passed and was referred to Appropriations.

HB 1012 Wildfire mitigation and recovery. 

The bill objective is prevention and recovery from wildfires. 

The Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery Grant Program is created within the Colorado State Forest Service to help counties with forested areas prevent and recover from wildfires by removing wildfire fuel and debris.  This is a supplemental grant program under the existing Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation grant program, with the added criteria that projects are undertaken in a manner that reduces the amount of carbon that enters the atmosphere. 

The bill requests an appropriation of $48K for equipment and labor, and for reforestation efforts.

StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning healthy forests, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/06/2022)
House SponsorsD. Valdez (D)
L. Cutter (D)
Senate SponsorsP. Lee (D)
J. Ginal (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeFinance
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1134
Title: Measures To Reduce Use Single-use Meal Accessories
Position
Custom Summary

The bill was introduced January 28 and assigned to Business Affairs and Labor Committee with a scheduled February 16 hearing date.

This bill specifies that begining Jan. 1, 2023 a retail food establishment may provide customers with single-use food serviceware or a condiment with a food ordered for delivery or carry out only if requested by the customer or is confirmed by the customer, when ordered.  Both are defined in the bill.

On July 1, of 2024 a  local goverment may create a more stringent rule. Any current rules enacted up until now will remain.

The bill defines:

* food establishments as a drive thru, carry out, or delivery by 3rd party (as grub hub or web-site services), farmer's markets, those preparing and serving hot coffee, tea or other beverages, prepackaged food and operations serving commercially prepared and prepackaged foods requiring heating in the package, a home, commercial, private or public kitchen where a person produces food products sold directly to consumers, and on a mobile platform.

*single-use condiment means a relish, spice, sauce, confection or seasoning that requires no preparation, is used once on food, then discarded.

*single-use food serviceware includes: one-time use utensil, napkin, condiment cups or packet, straw, stirrer, lidcup sleeve, spill plug, tray, cocktail stick or a chopstick set.

The customer request law DOES NOT apply to:

*self service stations in retail food establishments or special events

*meals provided as part of a social service program serving vulnerable populations, such as school children in income eligible households, homeless or elderly

*establishment within an airport

* meals in hotels, lodging or rooming house

Nothing is authorized about plastic carry-out bags, or expanded polystyrene in the bill.

Rationale of the bill: Limiting the use of single use plastic products will mitigate the harmful effects on our state's natural resources and our environment that result from disposing of these products in landfills.

League supports this bill because it believes in promoting policies to reduce the generation of solid and hazardous wastes.

StatusHouse Committee on Business Affairs & Labor Postpone Indefinitely (02/16/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to reduce the use of single-use meal accessories.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/04/2022)
House SponsorsB. Titone (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
House CommitteeBusiness Affairs and Labor
Senate Committee
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1138
Title: Reduce Employee Single-occupancy Vehicle Trips
Position
Custom Summary

The objective of the bill is to Increase the use by commuting employees of alternative transportation options other than single-occupancy vehicles and, thus, to reduce auto-related air pollution, traffic congestion, and transportation costs.  In particular, the bill addresses areas of Colorado that are designated by EPA as severe nonattainment areas with respect to standards for ozone. 

An income tax credit is created for employers as an inducement to creating a clean commuting plan that will increase use of alternative transportation options and strategies to reduce the number of trips taken by employees in single-occupancy vehicles when commuting to work.  To be eligible to claim a tax credit, an employer’s Clean Commuting Plan must offer the alternative transportation options to essential workers and workers earning less than $40K/year, which can be part of providing for economic equity.  Alternative transportation options include (but are not limited to) flexible work schedules, facilitating ridesharing, providing employer vans, subsidies for public transit or bike sharing, bicycling amenities, on-site daycare.  

The League supports measures to reduce vehicular pollution. 

Last year we supported a successful transportation bill SB21-260, Sustainability of the Transportation System, as enabling part of the solution for reducing air pollution that results from burning of fossil-fuels for transportation.  A Nonattainment Area Air Pollution Mitigation Enterprise was created to fund projects that reduce traffic or directly reduce air pollution through the congestion mitigation.

We have sent questions by email to bill sponsors for clarification of an option for “use of ZEVs for traveling to and from a work site in a vehicle leased or owned by the employer.”   Although use of ZEVs will reduce ambient air pollution It is not clear how this option, alone, would address the stated objective of reducing single-occupancy vehicles and could justify an additional tax expenditure.  

At this time, we will Monitor the bill for clarifications on this option.

 

StatusHouse Committee on Finance Postpone Indefinitely (02/28/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the creation of programs to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle commuter trips by improving access to alternative transportation options.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/23/2022)
House SponsorsL. Herod (D)
M. Gray (D)
Senate SponsorsF. Winter (D)
C. Hansen (D)
House CommitteeFinance
Senate Committee
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1159
Title: Waste Diversion And Circular Economy Development Center
Position
Custom Summary

This bill creates a Circular Economy Development Center in CDPHE to support end markets for recycled commodities and compost in the state.  CDPHE will contract with a third-party administrator to operate the center by July1,2023.  It will conduct a statewide end market gap analysis and opportunity assessment and report to CDPHE by 8/1/2024.  It would allow grant awards under the Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) Enterprise and extend repeal date to 9/1/2030.  It extends several repeal dates for the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Grant Program, the FRWD solid waste user fee and strikes repeal including RREO. 

The bill is building on past legislation, SB 20-55 which created a stakeholder group to inform structure and governing guidance for recycling market development center to incentivize recycling and markets. The second bill, SB 19-192 created the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise (FRWD).  The RREO program was created in 2007 to promote waste diversion, recycling, and recycling market.

It is estimated that there is money in the FRWD and RREO funds that can cover the operational and oversight of this program.

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/05/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning waste diversion, and, in connection therewith, creating the circular economy development center in the department of public health and environment, establishing the costs of operating the center as a permissible use of money from the front range waste diversion cash fund and the recycling resources economic opportunity fund, and extending and removing certain repeal dates associated with existing statutory waste diversion efforts.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (03/16/2022)
House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
F. Winter (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeFinance
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1244
Title: Public Protections From Toxic Air Contaminants
Position
Custom Summary

The objective of the bill is to control and reduce emissions of Toxic Air Contaminants (TAC) through identification, data collection, and setting standards that are health-based.  The bill  extends the monitoring and data collection required by Air Toxics legislation from 2021 and will require standards beyond what is required by EPA.

 

Air Pollution Control Division is to set up TAC monitoring using at least 6 sites, urban and rural, throughout the state. These sites are additional to fenceline and community monitoring and the reporting already required by operators. Determination of locations of the new monitoring sites will include public input, with priority given to disproportionately impacted communities.

 

Using all these data and industry reporting, the Air Quality Control Commission may identify high-risk TAC in addition to monitoring of hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene as now required.  

 

The Commission will establish health-based standards using peer-reviewed scientific data on exposure and acute or chronic health conditions.  The standards:

  • will be no less protective than the most stringent standards in other states/ jurisdictions;
  • shall consider vulnerable groups including disproportionately impacted communities;
  • include cancer and non-cancer conditions;
  • include margins of safety.

Toxic Air Contaminants Scientific Advisory Board will be established within CDPHE to advise the Commission.

New air pollution permits will require analysis of the TAC identified by the Commission.  APCD may re-open existing permits to ensure compliance with the additional requirements defined according to this bill.

League position: 

The League supports ensuring air quality by regulation and reduction of pollution from stationary sources and of ambient toxic air pollution. 

We supported HB21-1189 Public Health Protections in Relation to the Emissions of Air Toxics that used site monitoring of a small set of industries, mainly petroleum refining, storage and transfers that operate in an ozone nonattainment area, and was limited to three identified toxic air pollutants.

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to increase public protection from toxic air contaminants, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/10/2022)
House SponsorsC. Kennedy (D)
S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
Senate SponsorsJ. Gonzales (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeState, Veterans and Military Affairs
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1345
Title: Perfluoroalkyl And Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals
Position
Custom Summary

Objectives of the bill are to create a regulatory scheme to collect information on the use of Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products and to phase out sale/distribution of products with intentionally added PFAS.  A strong initial focus is on public awareness of the presence of PFAS in categories of consumer products. 

PFAS are synthetic toxic chemicals known as “forever chemicals” because they do not easily break down. These are added to products for their grease, heat, and water-proofing properties but even small doses of PFAS have been linked to serious health effects   As reported by the EPA, current peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to decreased fertility, Increased risk of some cancers (including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers), and developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes.

CDPHE data has revealed widespread PFAS in Colorado’s waters.  PFAS have been detected throughout El Paso County, where communities have been highly exposed to contamination due to firefighting foams used at a nearby Air Force base.

PFAS are used or included in the manufacture of a wide variety of consumer products like carpets or rugs, cookware, cosmetics, fabric treatments, food packaging, and juvenile products such as seats, pads, carriers, restraints, and sleeping items. 

First steps in the bill are information collection through mandatory manufacturer notification of CDPHE of all PFAS-containing consumer products for sale/distribution in Colorado followed by rulemaking to determine risks and appropriate regulatory controls. There will be a phased reduction in PFAS-containing products on the market with hard deadlines beginning January 1, 2024. CDPHE will prepare priority lists based on defined criteria such as risks to sensitive populations (childbearing age; infants & children; pregnant/nursing; occupational exposure; elderly). 

In addition to categories indicated above, prohibited uses will also include certain home furnishings and products used in oil & gas production. There will be limited and temporary exemptions for firefighting foam for Class B fires (flammable liquids or gases such as petroleum at a terminal) only if there is no commercially available alternative that is capable of suppressing Class B fire. 

The League supports prevention of disease, health promotion and education within our health care system. 

In 2019 we supported SB19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil & Gas Operations that provided for regulation of oil and gas operations to minimize adverse impacts to public health, safety and welfare and the environment.  In 2021 we supported HB21-1189 Public Health Protections in Relation to the Emissions of Air Toxics that used monitoring to detect known air toxics and to identify other pollutants that would be considered for further regulatory actions. These bills addressed the importance of control of environmental contaminants that are responsible for adverse health effects. 

Finally, the League continues to advocate for open, transparent, and accessible processes by all government bodies.

 

StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to increase protections from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/03/2022)
House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
M. Bradfield (R)
Senate SponsorsP. Lee (D)
J. Gonzales (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeFinance
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1348
Title: Oversight Of Chemicals Used In Oil & Gas
Position
Custom Summary

The bill establishes regulations to be set by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to disclose and declare chemical information for products used in fracking. The commission must create and utilize a website to collect and share the information with the public.

Beginning July 1, 2023 a manufacturer that sells or distributes fracking chemicals must disclose:

* the trade name of the chemical product

* a list of names of each chemical used

* the estimated amount of each chemical used, and

* a description of the intended purpose of the chemical used in the product

That manufacturer must declare that PFAS is not part of the chemicals used. If the manufacturer is already selling and distributing a fracking chemical it must disclose and declare chemicals 30 days before July 1, 2023. New sellers and distributers of fracking chemicals, must disclose and declare chemicals 30 days before sale or distribution.

Beginning on or after July 31, 2023 an operator of fracking operations using a chemical product must disclose to the commission:

* The date of beginning the fracking operations

* The county of the well site

* The American Petroleum Institute numerical identifier of the well, and

*  The trade names and quantities of any chemical products the operator plans to use

The operator must also declare the chemical product used contains no intentional use of PFAS chemicals. Drilling operators that began operations before July 31, 2023 must disclose and declare 75 days before July 31, 2023. For drilling beginning after set date, disclosing and declaration must be made 75 days before beginning.

The COGCC will create a list using all information collected per well-site and an estimated amount of each chemical that will be used for each site.

Prior to fracking, the operator will disclose the chemical list to the community, local water administrators, and division of parks and wildlife that have high-priority habitats. Operators of existing fracking sites that will continue must disclose the list to these entitites 60 days prior to July 31, 2023. Operators that plan to frack after July 31, 2023 must disclose the chemical list to these entitites at least 60 days prior to starting.

Trade secret claims must be filed with the COGCC for "trade secret" determination.

The COGCC, before July 31, 2023, must create rules that set standards for chemical disclosure information to the following:

* a U.S.,state, or local government

* contractors of the U.S., state or local government if the commission deems necessary for    public health and safety protection

* a health care professional in connection with an emergency or with diagnosing or patient treatment

* to protect public safety, a person in public health employment, scientist or researcher employed by a higher learning institution.

The COGCC will submit an annual report beginning Feb 1, 2025 on the chemical disclosure information.

This bill requires more transparency from oil and gas before further use of certain chemicals. The EPA reports that Colorado may have the highest number of PFAS contaminated locations in the United States, mainly at oil and gas operations.The EPA reports 1,084 chemicals are used in oil and gas production.

LWVUS knows that fracking, poisons our 30 million gallons per well of fresh drinking water, food supply and pollutes our air. It creates radioactive toxic waste that is difficult to dispose of safely. It causes damaging earthquakes and it significantly worsens the climate crisis. Laws and regulations do not protect us from wide-ranging health hazards that science has linked to fracking-including cancer, neurological damage, and birth defects. More fracking means more deadly climate change. The LWVUS joined over 600 organizations in a letter to Congress urging it to keep fossil fuels in the ground and pursue a decline of fossil fuel production. This bill will help spur cleaner operations.

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning enhanced oversight of the chemicals used in oil and gas production, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/12/2022)
House SponsorsM. Froelich (D)
Y. Caraveo (D)
Senate SponsorsF. Winter (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1355
Title: Producer Responsibility Program For Recycling
Position
Custom Summary

The League of Women Voters of Colorado in 2020 resolved to call for an immediate, wide-scale, mobilization by the United States that restores, protects, and funds an ecologically sustainable environment and climate, based on an interrelated approach that is environmentally sound, science-based, just and equitable, dedicated to appropriately addressing the speed and scale of the global climate change emergency. 

Colorado’s natural beauty is not all natural. It takes hard work to preserve its beauty. It takes robust debate to keep Colorado breathtaking. We urge the League of Women Voters to support the proposal to protect the beauty of our State by reducing packaging waste. Members of the Colorado League of Women Voters Climate Emergency Task Force Plastics Group have discussed this bill with members of the LAC quite extensively, and while we have some reservations, we are inclined to support this bill.  Reduced production is the goal and this bill encourages that by making it more costly to use large amounts of packaging.

 

This bill would set up a system to recycle waste products all over the state. The cost would be borne by the producer in the form of dues depending on weight, bulk and recyclability of the waste.

On or before June 1, 2023 the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health must designate a nonprofit organization to implement and manage a statewide program that provides recycling services to covered entities in the state.  The independent non-profit manages and consults with an advisory board. The advisory board is to be appointed by the Executive Director of CDPHE by December 31, 2022.

The program is paid for by dues paid by producers of products sold or distributed in the state that use materials and paper products. This bill includes companies that sell in Colorado whether they are based here or not.

An advisory Board will have 13 geographically diverse members with relevant knowledge and begin meeting 3/1/2023. The League or “public” could have a seat at the table, either being appointed from a city or municipality as a rep from an environmental or community-based nonprofit.  They are required to provide open meetings and reports.

On or before Sept 1, 2023 the advisory board must have an independent third party conduct a recycling needs assessment in the state. On or before February 1, 2025 a plan must be submitted.

The plan:

  1. initially will cover residential entities statewide at no charge
  2. Establish the funding program
  3. Provide list of covered materials
  4. No later than 2028 would establish recycling to applicable nonresidential covered entities.
  5. Develop and implement statewide education and outreach.

LAC has changed our original position from amend to support because:

  • We must fix the problem of un-recycled waste. If not now, when?
  • There are many areas in the state that have no recycling programs. This law will expand recycling to most areas in the state.
  • This bill would make it unprofitable for companies to use large amounts of plastic and paper packaging. It will make it cheaper for the companies to use less polluting packaging materials.
  • In the past, companies have placed the burden of recycling on the consumer. Most consumers hate the impossible packaging they have to pry off and dispose. The burden should be placed on the manufacturers and shipping source.
  • It would begin mitigating much of the harm already done and force producers to take responsibility for the waste they produce and thus lead to less unnecessary packaging.

 

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the creation of the producer responsibility program for statewide recycling, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/26/2022)
House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
J. Gonzales (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeFinance
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1361
Title: Oil And Gas Reporting
Position
Custom Summary

The bill outlines measures trying to enhance oversight of oil and gas operations in Colorado. It also relates to oil and gas filings of air pollution emissions.

Section 1  The Office of the State Auditor found substantial non-compliance gaps in the oil and gas 2020 severance tax performance audit (a tax imposed on nonrenewable natural resources extracted from the earth) and in their 2021 gas production reporting, finding a need for enforcement improvement of the industry. Revenue collected goes to the Department of Natural Resources, to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and impacted local governments. To report o/g extraction accurately and in a timely manner, the bill requires a, one-time, severance tax performance and production audit by the State Auditor.

Section 2  By 2025 the State Auditor will select a random sample of the 2023 oil and gas operators in the state and will provide the list to the COGCC, the Department of Revenue and a CDPHE division. The Auditor will begin the audit in May of 2025. The audit report will contain recommendations in regards to certain requirements by March 2026. They are: production reports, levies, calibrations, severance taxes, emissions data to the CDPHE, gaps or inconsistencies, amounts missing, incomplete or incorrect reports, and break-down of penalties. By March 2026, the Auditor will present the report to this Committee.

Section 3  Emissions data in the Emissions Inventory Report received by CDPHE from the random sample of oil gas operators and submitted to the State Auditor will be available to the public by April 2025.

Section 4  The CDPHE divison will collect penalties with district court action where pollution occurred. A person's non-compliance is subject to a civil penalty of $500. An operator failing to comply is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per day per violation of emissions reporting.

Section 5  By 2025, the COGCC will create rules that require an operator to conduct meter certification and calibration annually along with a report of results, according to requirements and consistent to national standards. Then by April of 2025, the COGCC will submit that report to the State Auditor, includes emissions data included.

For all operators in the state and random operators, they must include for audit: any missing, incomplete, or incorrect oil/gas reports for 2023 without request for completion or correction. Also copies of any notices given by the COGCC; any penalties assessed with violation type, penalty amount against a person. The COGCC will publish the report and share any auditor requested information.

Section 6  By 2025, the Executive Director of the Department of Revenue will submit a report to the State Auditor which includes: monthly severance tax withholding and annual tax reports for 2023 for random samplers; for all operators and samplers any missing monthly severance tax and reports for 2023; incomplete or incorrect monthly statements and annual tax reports for 2023; any accepted severance tax reports for 2023 without a request for completion of correction; any penalties assessed for 2023 and for all state operators for missing, incomplete, incorrect severance tax withholding statements and severance tax reports, violations, and penalty amount assessed for violation.

The Executive Director for the Department of Revenue will publish the report submitted on the Department of Revenue website. This act begins July of this year.

The bill is intended to make sure there is a correct match with what the oil and gas industry is reporting to the information gathered through this one-time audit. The results will  reveal and identify inconsistencies in payments and reporting. It also intends to use emissions data received to enable communities and the CDPHE to have information verified for their estimated-versus-actual modeling of emissions. We learn through this bill, that there is an existing need for oil and gas to fulfill their lawful severance tax and performance reporting requirements along with emission test results.

The LWVCO supports state revenue from the severance tax in their Fiscal Policy. Also, in 1994 it supported legislation that required the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to reclaim lands (especially agricultural) disturbed by oil and gas drilling operations. A Severance Tax Fund was established to address the reclamation issues. The LWVCO Environmental Planning and Management position suupports measures to improve the coordination, effectiveness and efficiency of govermental units within the state of Colorado and measures that promote integrated planning for environmental management, and wise use of Colorado's natural resources. 

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to enhance oversight of oil and gas operations within the state.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/29/2022)
House SponsorsA. Boesenecker (D)
Senate SponsorsT. Story (D)
S. Jaquez Lewis (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1362
Title: Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Position
Custom Summary

The bill requires adoption of building codes for energy conservation, for electric- and solar-ready construction (by Jan 2025) and voluntary adoption for low energy use and reducing carbon emissions (green code) (by Jan 2030).

New codes apply to public buildings as well as hotels, motels, and multi-family structures in areas of the state where no construction standards exist, and to school buildings and health facilities.  New codes are to be adopted by Counties and Municipalities for local enforcement.

The bill provides funding source for assisting in high-efficiency electrical installations through creation of a Clean Air Buildings Investment Fund to administer grant programs for--

  1. Building electrification for public buildings. to install high-efficiency electric equipment (heating, water heating, cooking)
  2. High-efficiency electric heating and appliances. to install high-efficiency electric space heating equipment in multiple structures within a neighborhood

This bill supports

  • Solar-ready electrical installations
  • EV charging-ready electrical installations
  • Provisions for expanded load electrical service capacity:
  • Funding for building electrification and high-efficiency equipment
  • Funding goals for low-income, disproportionately impacted, and Just-Transition communities.

The Colorado GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap, Jan 2021 analysis shows that the use of fossil methane in buildings and industry is one of the four major sources of GHG pollution in Colorado.

The League believes in an interrelated approach to combating climate change including air pollution controls, promoting renewable resources and protecting public health.   The bill will:

  • Reduce GHG emissions from the built environment by supporting reduction in the use of fossil methane for space and water heating and cooking.
  • Reduce indoor air pollution by promoting transition away from burning fossil methane.
  • Promote renewable energy by supporting rooftop solar panel installations with solar-ready electrical installations.
  • Encourage electric vehicle adoption to reduce air pollution by facilitating electric vehicle charging in buildings or closely near-by.

LWVCO is committed to equity in access to technology that advances clean air and high-efficiency utilities and appliance for all communities in the state.  The grant programs described in the bill will assure that low-income, disproportionately impacted, and Just-Transition communities can participate in the economies-of-scale for installation of high-efficiency electrification equipment.

 

StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the reduction of building greenhouse gas emissions, and, in connection therewith, requiring the director of the Colorado energy office and the executive director of the department of local affairs to appoint an energy code board that develops two model codes, requiring local governments and certain state agencies to adopt and enforce codes that are consistent with the model codes developed by the energy code board, creating the building electrification for public buildings grant program, creating the high-efficiency electric heating and appliances grant program, and establishing the clean air building investments fund.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/13/2022)
House SponsorsA. Valdez (D)
T. Bernett (D)
Senate SponsorsF. Winter (D)
C. Hansen (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeState, Veterans and Military Affairs
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
Save to Calendar

Bill: HB22-1381
Title: Colorado Energy Office Geothermal Energy Grant Program
Position
Custom Summary

The bill objective is to facilitate development and use of geothermal energy as a zero-pollution, renewable energy source for building heating and cooling and for a reliable and sustainable source for electricity generation. 

The League supports predominant reliance on renewable resources.

Geothermal resources are reservoirs of hot water that exist at varying temperatures and depths below the Earth's surface [U.S. Dept of Energy].   Geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperatures near the surface of the earth to heat and cool buildings.  Hot water near the earth's surface can be piped into individual buildings for direct heat for individual buildings and to heat multiple buildings with district heating systems.   Drilling wells deep into the earth and then piping steam or hot water to the surface can be used to power turbines that generate electricity. Some geothermal wells are as much as 2 miles deep.  Electric power may be used to produce “green” hydrogen from water, not from methane.

 

A grant program is established to support:

  • Primary heating or cooling in construction of new single-structure buildings. Up to 60% of funds to be used for heating & cooling single homes or multi-unit in a single building.  Grants can be provided to individual homeowners.  One-quarter of these funds are assured to low-income, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities. 
  • Electricity generation development and hydrogen generation. Up to 40% of funds for use by local governments, corporations, or gas & electric utilities.  This use may include development of hydrogen generation from water using electricity.
  • Community heating projects serving more than one building. Up to 25% of funds for use by building owners, installers, gas & electric utilities, consultants, developers, or others for new buildings or for retrofitting heating systems.  Amendment in Hearing adds additional funding for developing ‘closed-loop” systems (where condensed steam is injected back into a drilled well for re-heating, re-use.)

Grant funding is approximately $4.4M annually (next two FY).

 

StatusSenate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the creation of a geothermal energy grant program to facilitate the development of geothermal energy resources.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/10/2022)
House SponsorsH. McKean (R)
B. Titone (D)
Senate SponsorsF. Winter (D)
R. Woodward (R)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeFinance
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Bill: HB22-1394
Title: Fund Just Transition Community And Worker Supports
Position
Custom Summary

The bill transfers $15 million from the general fund with $5 million going to the Just Transition cash fund and $10 million is allocated to the Coal Transition Workforce Assistance Program account. The Department of Labor and Employment through the Just Transition Office will expend the money for the coal community and worker supports.

Last June of 2021 the State Treasurer transferred $8 million to the Just Transition Fund. In March, an additional $2 million was transferred. In July of this year, $5 million will be transferred to the fund with this bill. The General Assembly will appropriate any supplemental annual funding in coal transition communities for programs in economic- development, worker assistance, infrastructure projects, and workforce development. Economic development includes: expansion assistance for local businesses, expanding private financial investment, and technical assistance. Any transfer of funds to other state agencies must be approved by 5 designated directorships.  A 75% fund transfer is allowed for FY 2021-22 and remaining funds by the end of FY 2025-26.

HB 1193-Fund Just Transition Coal Workers Force Programs that passed this year and was signed by the governor on March 7, allocates money for this fund, but this new bill adds additional money. To the $7 million in the fund, an additional $10 million from the general fund will be transferred to the account for coal workers or family members in the household. Programs will be expanded, such as registered apprenticeships meeting Department of Labor requirements, training capacity, and placement of coal transition workers. The implementation provides tuition, job search help, individualized and transitional planning, on-job-training, subsidized employment, support for family members of workers or a pilot program with 40 participants max. Money will be used for workers and families of the disproportionately impacted community with tuition assistance, expanded child care, career planning, financial counseling, housing before FY 2026-27.

This is a JEDI bill as well as an energy bill that affects the environment as we transition away from coal and other fossil fuels. The League supports legislation that reduces pollution, encourages the use of renewable energy, and the creation of a clean and healthy environment which considers the quality of life and provides benefits for all.

StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning funding for just transition programs to assist communities with economic transitions, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/29/2022)
House SponsorsD. Esgar (D)
D. Roberts (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Donovan (D)
F. Winter (D)
House CommitteeTransportation and Local Government
Senate CommitteeBusiness, Labor and Technology
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Bill: SB22-007
Title: Increase Wildfire Risk Mitigation Outreach Efforts
Position
Custom Summary

The bill objective is to enhance the existing Wildlife Awareness Month outreach campaigns for May 2023 and 2024.   The campaign is intended to educate and motivate residents living in the wildland-urban interface to engage in wildfire risk mitigation efforts. 

Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) will create a working group to consider enhancement of outreach that includes multi-media contacts and live events.  About 3 million Coloradans live in the Wildland-Urban Interface defined as any area where man-made improvements are built close to, or within, flammable vegetation. 

Wildfire Awareness Month is a national campaign in which CSFS participates but does not currently have a budget for the working group or enhancements.  The bill proposes an appropriation of ca. $609K for the two years. 

League position on Environmental Planning and Management includes that the state should provide technical support to local governments in matters of environmental planning and management and consider the distribution and growth of population and conservation of natural resources.

The bill Passed committee 11-1 and has been referred to Appropriations.

StatusSenate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning outreach to the public relating to wildfire risk mitigation practices, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/12/2022)
House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
M. Snyder (D)
Senate SponsorsP. Lee (D)
T. Story (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeLocal Government
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Bill: SB22-051
Title: Policies To Reduce Emissions From Built Environment
Position
Custom Summary

The bill objectives are to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heating and cooling private sector commercial and residential buildings and from the manufacture and transport of certain building materials. 

Exemptions from sales and use tax are intended to encourage purchase and use of heat pump systems rather than traditional heating methods that utilize fossil methane, propane, or heating oil as fuels. This will also benefit the building occupants by reducing inside air pollution from products of combustion.  The heat pump systems will be exempt from property tax levy if not used for production of income. 

Exemptions from sales and use tax are intended to encourage builders to use eligible decarbonizing building materials with in a maximum acceptable global warming potential as determined by the state architect.

The Colorado GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap, Jan 2021 analysis shows that the use of fossil methane in buildings and industry is one of the four major sources of GHG pollution in Colorado.  And from a Colorado State University Extension fact sheet on Heating Colorado Homes:  “If using electricity from Colorado’s grid to power heat pumps, their greenhouse gas emissions are currently comparable to emissions from high efficiency natural gas furnaces.  Over time, however, the environmental benefits from using heat pumps are expected to grow as the grid uses more clean energy. “

The League believes in an interrelated approach to combating climate change including air pollution controls, promoting renewable resources and protecting public health.  The League supports climate goals and policies that ensure a stable climate system. 

UPDATE: 

In Transportation & Energy the bill was amended to add heat pump water heaters and residential energy storage systems (e.g., batteries and batteries paired with on-site generation) to eligible systems. The amendment added a 10% tax credit for purchase price of the described systems.  The amended bill Passed 7-0.   In Senate Finance, the bill was amended to include water source heat pump systems.  The purchaser of the heat pump or energy storage systems may assign the tax credit to the seller of the system, who shall compensate the purchaser for the full nominal value, i.e., a point-of-sale credit.  The amended bill Passed unanimously and was referred to Appropriations.    An updated Fiscal Note calculates a reduction in General Fund revenue of $4.8M for heat pump and energy storage systems over FY2022-23 and FY2023-24.  For building materials exemptions, revenue is estimated to be reduced by $3.2M beginning in FY 2024-25.
StatusSenate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning policies to reduce emissions from the built environment.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/29/2022)
House SponsorsE. Sirota (D)
Senate SponsorsC. Hansen (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
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Bill: SB22-082
Title: Geographical Area Hazardous Air Pollution Rule
Position
Custom Summary

Update 2.16.22:

The objectives of the bill are to create a Colorado map of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) to be used in rulemaking intended to reduce HAP.  Air Pollution Control Division will analyze HAP data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify areas where HAPs have the greatest potential for causing chronic human health effects. 

EPA describes HAPs as known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects and has currently listed 188 by chemical descriptions.  Under the Clean Air Act, EPA has identified 30 HAPs that present the greatest threat to public health in the largest number of urban areas; these are known as Urban Air Toxics and are listed on the EPA web site.  Urban Air Toxics are described as posing “greater risks in urban areas because these areas have large populations and a higher concentration of emission sources.”

Data from the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) are depicted on EPA maps and reveal cancer risk, kinds of pollutants, nature of sources, and other information by searchable geographic areas.  These maps are detailed down to city and county levels but are not more geographically precise.  According to EPA, “Communities use NATA to find out what data and research is needed to better assess their local risk from air toxics.  Communities have found that using NATA helps inform and empower citizens to make local decisions about their community’s health.  Local projects often improve air quality faster than federal regulations alone.”

The League supports ensuring air quality by regulation and reduction of ambient toxic air pollution.  In 2021, LWVCO supported HB21-1189 Regulate Air Toxics to require active air monitoring for stationary source of air pollutants facilities. 

 

This bill was introduced in the Senate on January 20 and assigned to Health and Human Services.

The bill directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to analyze EPA data regarding geographical areas where hazardous concentrations of air pollutants have the greatest negative effects on health. The Department will propose a rule to the Air Quality Control Commission to address reducing pollutants in these areas. The Commission will hear and consider the rule. It will create a hazardous air pollution map made available to the public.

Colorado air quality has negative impacts on human health. Between the 1970s-2000s studies have revealed that ozone and particulate matter are hurting people of all ages and backgrounds, which makes this a JEDI bill to support.

Ozone is found to affect respiratory disease such as asthma, emphysema and COPD. Since the 2010s, ozone affects other diseases as well through inflammatory and metabolic pathways such as cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, metabolic changes, Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 diabetes.

From the 1940s-1970s particulate matter was found to affect respiratory disease, asthma and emphysema; in the 1980s to have caused COPD, lung cancer; in the 1990s to have caused stroke and heart attacks; in the 2000s-2020s, caused congenital birth defects, low birth weight, developmental delays, autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive decline.

The League supports the preservation of the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the ecosystem and maximum protection of public health and environment.

StatusSenate Committee on Health & Human Services Postpone Indefinitely (02/16/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning addressing the geographical areas with the greatest concentration of air pollutants that affect human health.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/14/2022)
House Sponsors
Senate SponsorsK. Donovan (D)
House Committee
Senate CommitteeHealth and Human Services
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Bill: SB22-129
Title: Process For Proposed Air Quality Rules
Position
Custom Summary

The bill requires the Air Quality Control Commission to include in a notice of proposed rulemaking a description of persons and businesses that will be affected by the proposal. A person with a differing proposal or revision will file the proposal by a predetermined commission date. Included should be classes of people, and businesses that will be affected by this proposal. The alternate proposal must include an initial economic impact analysis of this new rule. A commission hearing officer will consider proposals submitted and will give notice of the determination to persons filing the request.

A similar JEDI bill by the same sponsor, that League opposed, was submitted last year. The bill protects air polluting businesses, that are causing negative health impacts in poor and vulnerable communities. Poor air quality is worse in these areas where formal complaints would need to be accompanied by an " economic impact statement". The requirement would place an unjust obstacle and economic burden on people already suffering environmental injustice and lack of equitable fairness.

LWVUS believes we need to move ahead immediately on initiatives to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases which will reduce the threat of global climate change and combat pollution. LWVCO believes in regulation and reduction of ambient toxic air pollutants, including ozone, which is plaguing Colorado's atmosphere.

StatusSenate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely (02/22/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning the procedures for proposals filed in anticipation of an air quality control commission rule-making hearing.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/17/2022)
House Sponsors
Senate SponsorsJ. Cooke (R)
House Committee
Senate CommitteeState, Veterans and Military Affairs
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Bill: SB22-131
Title: Protect Health Of Pollinators And People
Position
Custom Summary

This lengthy bill lays out measures to protect pollinators and people throughout the state.  It would restrict use of pesticides on any properties dealing with children and have CDPHE develop rules to implement those.  It asks Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct a study on how to address pollinator decline and increase health.  It creates a pilot program in agriculture to provide financial grants to agricultural producers to test the use of noncoated seed-applied systemic insecticide for their crops. Would require agriculture to adopt rules on restricted use pesticides that contain ingredients in the neonicotinoid class or sulfoxomine class of insecticides. Last it would authorize local governments to regulate pesticide use and remove certain preemptions allowing local governments to regulate pesticide use.  This has been an important issue in the agricultural world as bees are needed for pollination in the food supplies.  Restricting use of these pesticides is necessary for a healthier environment.  A hearing in Senate Agriculture is set for 2/24.

UPDATE: 

This bill became a strike below, with section 2 of the original bill restricting pesticides on a variety of areas with children and other sensitive populations being struck.  It also was allowing more local control on regulating pesticides.  It is not restricting agriculture to apply as most are certified operators.  The sponsors want a study done by DNR as they have done other work with local bee and pollinator populations, but more data is needed.  It was heard on 3/3 in Senate Agriculture Committee and postponed indefinitely.

StatusSenate Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources Postpone Indefinitely (03/03/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to improve pollinator habitats for the protection of the environment.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/23/2022)
House SponsorsM. Froelich (D)
C. Kipp (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
S. Jaquez Lewis (D)
House Committee
Senate CommitteeAgriculture and Natural Resources
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Bill: SB22-138
Title: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions In Colorado
Position
Custom Summary

The bill objectives are to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through various initiatives as described.

The Colorado GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap, Jan 2021 analysis shows that in 2020 the principal sources of GHG emissions were Transportation, Electricity Generation, Oil & Gas Fugitive Emissions, and Industrial Energy (Oil & Gas; Manufacturing).  Key strategies by sector are given as:  80% reduction in pollution from electricity generation; high building electrification for all end-users; building efficiency (appliances and building shell); CAFÉ standards and vehicle miles traveled reductions; aggressive ZEV sales; low-carbon fuels; reductions in methane emissions; soil health program (ACRE3 alignment). 

The League believes in an interrelated approach to combating climate change including air pollution controls, promoting renewable resources and protecting public health.  The League supports climate goals and policies that ensure a stable climate system. 

Because of the diversity of the several approaches in the bill, these descriptions may include additional position statements related to the subjects of the sections. 

At this time, we will Monitor the bill until outstanding questions and concerns have been discussed in committee hearing. 

  • Climate risk-assessment for insurance investment portfolios, reports to Commissioner of Insurance.

Climate-risk assessment is defined as a determination of the economic and business risks that climate change poses to an investment.

LWVUS Position has been stated in a letter to the U.S. Senate (May 5, 2021) supporting the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021. The Senate bill will help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce the risk for financial instability by ensuring that shareholders have the information they need to mitigate financial, physical, and legal climate related risks to their investments.

  • Climate risk-assessment for PERA investments to be included in annual reports.

PERA currently publishes an Investment Stewardship Report that could be added to its certified annual financial report. 

  • Update the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals by adding two additional interim targets for 2028 and 2040.

Current GHG roadmap has interim goals for 2025, and 2030 to reach a goal of 90% reduction by 2050.  Figure 23 GHG Emission Projections, using models that included COVID-19 impacts on pollution from lower population growth, reduced vehicle miles traveled, and flat oil & gas production, shows a faster trajectory in reduction in the near term.  The proposed interim goals roughly match this trajectory and do not change the interim goals currently set in statute.

League Position on climate change includes setting climate goals and policies that are consistent with best available science.

 

  • Phases out the use of small off-road gasoline-powered engines by prohibiting their sale in nonattainment areas after January 1, 2030; provides financial incentives for replacement with electric-powered equipment.

The goal is to reduce ozone pollution by targeting emissions in the EPA designated nonattainment areas for ozone. 

GHG roadmap does not address small off-road gasoline-powered engines as sources of GHG.  Other states have identified this category of equipment as a significant source of smog-forming emissions.

The bill encourages voluntary replacement by establishing a state income tax credit at 30% of  purchase price for new, electric-powered equipment.  CDPHE is to establish a commercial rebate program for commercial lawn and garden care businesses to voluntarily purchase electric-powered small off-road equipment.

The League supports ensuring air quality by regulation and reduction of pollution. 

  • COGCC is authorized to issue Class VI Geologic Sequestration Wells that are used for long-term storage of CO2 in deep rock formations.

Under current law, COGCC is responsible for protecting underground sources of drinking water with respect to Class II injection wells.  The bill adds class VI injections wells for which COGCC may issue and enforce permits.  This could include authority over Class VI injection wells used for sequestration of GHG, also referred to as Carbon Sequestration. 

Class VI wells are currently regulated by EPA for protection of water sources.  Only Wyoming and North Dakota have been given authority (by EPA) to regulate Class VI injection wells.

There are many systems for carbon capture underground. The most readily available large-scale systems use porous formations, often where oil or natural gas has been removed.  This is often done at high temperatures and pressures so that the CO2 is stored as a supercritical fluid denser than it would be at atmospheric pressures, thereby taking up less space.  One problem would be leaks back to the surface.  Methods to dispose of CO2 produced as a waste product of energy use require even more energy use so the net gain is not obvious unless no fossil fuels are involved.  CO2 itself is sometimes used as a fracking fluid.  This is sometimes touted as disposal, but it is not clear that it stays underground.

Colorado Energy Office has recommended near-term priority actions including that the legislature enable the COGCC to seek authority from the U.S. EPA for state regulation of Class VI CO2 injection wells, clarify the property rights for CO2 storage, address state authority over siting of CO2 pipelines, and create a process for long-term stewardship of CO2 storage sites.

At this time, the bill does not propose Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration.  It proposes that DNR apply for an application for primacy for Class VI wells with the EPA.  Should primacy be approved, regulation by COGCC including CCUS must be bound by Climate Equity Principles. 

 

LWVUS Position on Carbon Capture and Storage has been stated in testimony submitted to Congress on Jan 10, 2019; along with 626 other organizations, we oppose legislation that promotes carbon capture and storage. 

  • Department of Agriculture is to study and report on carbon reduction and sequestration in the agricultural sector.

In consultation with Colorado Energy Office and the AQCC the study will examine the potential for creating and offering a certified carbon offset program and credit instruments to provide fungible carbon offsets.  This is a controversial issue.  A report must be submitted by December 15, 2022 to the General Assembly with any recommendations for designing and implementing carbon reduction and sequestration opportunities.

Grants, loans and loan guarantees may be made to eligible agricultural value added cooperatives for research on the use of agrivoltaics. 

Agrivoltaics is defined as one or more solar energy generation facilities on the same parcel of land as agricultural activities, including crop production, grazing, animal husbandry, apiaries, cover cropping for soil health benefits or carbon sequestration, or production of agricultural commodities for sale in the retail or wholesale market.

There are presently 4 sites in Colorado with agrivoltaics projects.  The projects are looking at water conservation, improved water retention, higher crop yield, improved soil stability, crop protection and economic opportunities for farmers.  They have seen positive improvements, including planting native seed mixes and grazing sheep on a 55 acres parcel that creates 10 MW. The DOA must work with the Department of Wildlife to see what impacts might occur with migration patterns. 

A recent study from Oklahoma State University suggested converting 1% of American farmland to agrivoltaics could meet the national renewable energy targets and save water and create a sustainable long term food system.

LWVUS Position on carbon and emissions trading and offsets, has been stated in testimony submitted to Congress on Jan 10, 2019; along with 626 other organizations, we oppose legislation that promotes corporate schemes that place profits over community burdens and benefits, including market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets. 

The League supports predominant reliance on renewable energy resources; believes that prime agricultural land and the water to make it productive should be preserved for economic, social, health, land use planning, and aesthetic purposes; and recognizes that long-range ecological effects have greater importance than short-range problems.

Update:

SB 138 Passed, amended, and was moved to Senate Finance.   Significant amendments include:

  • Eliminate the section prohibiting sale of small off-road gasoline-powered engines. The tax credit for voluntary replacements with electric equipment was retained.
  • Require rulemaking to reduce GHG emissions from the Industrial & Manufacturing sector at least 20% by 2030; includes protections for [Disproportionately Impacted Communities] by acceleration in near-term reductions.
  • Climate-risk assessments annually are only required for insurance companies reporting more than $100M annual revenue. This aligns with other states’ requirements. Climate-risk assessment means a determination of the economic and business risks that climate change poses to an investment, with examples given.
  • Require the Governor and COGCC to affirm that there are sufficient resources available before seeking primacy for Class VI injection wells. Ensures that the permitting of Class VI wells does not adversely and disproportionately affect health and well-being of DIC.
  • Detail requirements for Agriculture Commission report on designing a carbon offset program including measurements, verification, enforcement of GHG emissions reductions, and mitigation of impacts on DIC.
  • Include Cost-benefit of agrivoltaics in research projects. Direct integration with agricultural activities added to the meaning.
  • Add appropriation to Agriculture for studies.
  • Include wastewater thermal energy as an alternative energy source under SB21-264 Clean Heat Plans.

Update:

Passed Senate Finance (3/30) with amendments; referred to Appropriations. 

  • Makes the tax credit on e-powered small off-road engines a direct discount to consumer by the seller at the point of sale. Seller is the taxpayer who subsequently applies for the tax credit.
  • Requires AQCC to adopt rules to reduce GHG from Industrial & Manufacturing Sector by August 2023.
  • Adjusts revenue requirement for insurance companies reporting to account for inflation.
  • Requires financial assurance by surety bond, insurance or other satisfactory modes from operators of Class VI injection wells to fulfill obligations such as corrective actions, well plugging, site care and closure, emergency and remedial responses.
  • Details content requirements for the PERA Annual Investment Stewardship Report describing climate change-related risks.
  • Omits GHG reduction goal for 2028 and adds a goal of 65% for 2035. This is because targets are best met by major infrastructure changes across multiple years; 5-yr steps are more practical than 2-yr steps [W. Toor, CEO]
StatusHouse Second Reading Special Order - Laid Over Daily - No Amendments (05/09/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/09/2022)
House SponsorsA. Valdez (D)
K. McCormick (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
C. Hansen (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
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Bill: SB22-180
Title: Programs To Reduce Ozone Through Increased Transit
Position
Custom Summary Ozone is a hazardous gas that the LWVUS has urged the EPA to revise the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone level of 60 parts per billion (ppb) in a letter sent with many groups. The letter states the level allowable is science-based and any level higher is unsafe to breathe for millions of Americans including the most vulnerable members of society: children, people with asthma and other lung diseases, and older Americans. The EPA admits lowering the standard would prevent 1.8 million asthma attacks...    Colorado has broken records with weather alerts regarding ozone pollution along the front range between June 1 and August 31 due to sunlight, heat and traffic exhausts. Reducing ground traffic and encouraging the use of public transit can lower ozone-forming emissions during that time period.     SB 180 Programs to Reduce Ozone through Increased Transit (Sen. Winter, Hinrichsen; Rep. Gray, Bacon) Introduced March 25 and assigned to Transportation and Energy, will be heard Tuesday, March 29.   The bill requires the transit and rail division in the Department of Transportation to create a 3-year pilot project to extend state-run transit services throughout the state with the goals of reducing ground level ozone, increasing ridership, and reducing vehicle miles traveled in the state. The division is required to report to the transportation review committee on the pilot project, that would repeal on July 1, 2026.  The bill also creates the Ozone Season Energy Transit Grant Program in the Colorado Energy Office. It grants funds to RTD (up to 80%) and transit associations free transit for at least 30 days during the ozone season.
StatusSenate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning programs to reduce ground level ozone through increased use of transit.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/02/2022)
House SponsorsM. Gray (D)
J. Bacon (D)
Senate SponsorsF. Winter (D)
N. Hinrichsen (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
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Bill: SB22-193
Title: Air Quality Improvement Investments
Position
Custom Summary

The bill objective is to further reduce GHG pollution by supporting voluntary actions by local governments, private entities, public-private partnerships, and nonprofit organizations using grant programs administered by the Colorado Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

The League believes in an interrelated approach to combating climate change including air pollution controls, promoting renewable resources and protecting public health.  The League supports climate goals and policies that ensure a stable climate system. 

The League supports ensuring air quality by reduction of pollution from stationary sources and reduction of ambient toxic air pollution. 

CEO is to establish a Clean air grant program to address GHG pollution, air toxics, particulates and ozone from the Industrial & Manufacturing Operations sector including projects to advance electrification, renewable energy, and carbon and methane capture technology. 

CEO is to establish Community Access to electric bicycles grant program including rebates for purchase of eBikes for commuting and discounts for purchase directed at low/mod income individuals.  This program follows on a successful Can Do Colorado eBike pilot program carried out in several municipalities from 2020-2021. 

CDPHE is to establish Diesel truck emissions reduction grant program to decommission older diesel trucks and support replacement with newer, more fuel efficient models that will produce fewer emissions and be less likely to break down causing road congestion.  Small businesses and sole proprietors of diesel trucks are less likely to have capital or financing to invest in newer trucks without some financial assistance. 

CDPHE is to establish Electrifying school buses grant program for school districts and charter schools to purchase electric school buses, convert fossil-fuel combustion buses to electric, and expand electric charging infrastructure.

The four programs will require an appropriation of approximately $125M for FY 2022-23. 

StatusSenate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to improve air quality in the state, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/05/2022)
House SponsorsM. Froelich (D)
A. Valdez (D)
Senate SponsorsS. Fenberg (D)
J. Gonzales (D)
House CommitteeEnergy and Environment
Senate CommitteeTransportation and Energy
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Bill: SB22-198
Title: Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells Enterprise
Position
Custom Summary

The bill creates the Orphaned Well Mitigation Enterprise in the Department of Natural Resources. An "orphaned well is an oil well, location, or facility in the state for which no owner or operator can be found or the owner or operator is unwilling or unable to pay for costs of plugging and abandoning the well, reclaiming and remediating. This bill ensures costs associated are borne by operators in the form of mitigation fees. It sets the amounts and collection of fees.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has recently held testimony hearings to set rules for orphan wells financial assurance/bonding due to the significant potential for negative public health, safety and welfare, environment and wildlife impacts. It found that it is in the best interest of the oil and gas operators of 84 thousand wells in Colorado, to ensure that any orphaned wells are plugged, reclaimed and remediated in a timely manner. Current law requires it, however there is not enough available funding. This new enterprise will be funded by revenue from mitigation fees imposed on and paid by state operators. It will reduce the total amount of financial assurance that operators must provide in order to operate in the state. The mitigation fee is collected in amounts calculated based on impacts caused by fee payers. The revenue collected is not state fiscal year spending and does not count against it's limit or the excess state revenue cap.

The Enterprise is authorized to issue revenue bonds. The Enterprise can issue itself revenue bonds for it its own expenses.The Enterprise can: adopt proceedures: acquire, hold title to and dispose of property; hire and supervise professional consultants as needed; contract with public or private entity, consultants, state agencies, the attorney general's office for help, and office space; it can seek and accept gifts, grants,  and donations less than 10% in total from state and local governments.

The Enterprise board will consist of 5, governor-appointed members: the Chair, Director, one person with oil and gas experience, one local government official that has oil and gas development and orphaned wells, and a land reclamation expert, all confirmed by the Senate. The new board will rule for one year, Sept. 1, 2022 with repeal in July of 2023.

All three members, except the Chair and Director who remain can continue serving. The oil and gas person-one year, the local government person-two years after 2023 but may be reappointed and compensated per diem for expenses. The board will decide increases or decreases in mitigation fees and adjust and advise the COGCC.

Fees set will be paid by each operator for each well that is spud (begun) but not plugged or abandoned by August 1, 2022; April 30, 2023 and by April 30 each year thereafter. Fees that are due by August 1, 2022 will be $ 125 per well for production threshold yet to be determined and $225 for production that exceeds production thresholds yet to be determined by the COGCC. All money collected will transfer to the State Treasurer that will credit it to the Fund. Fees may not exceed $100 million in the first five years starting in FY 2022-23. All interest earned goes to the fund. The COGCC will create rules for implementation.

League supports measures to reduce pollution from stationary sources. It also supports responsible land use planning by all levels of government. It supports the creation of boards and commissions to address regional concerns as well as wise use of Colorado's natural resources.

StatusHouse Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/10/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning measures to address orphaned wells in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, creating the orphaned wells mitigation enterprise.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/18/2022)
House SponsorsM. Weissman (D)
P. Will (R)
Senate SponsorsR. Scott (R)
S. Fenberg (D)
House CommitteeFinance
Senate CommitteeFinance
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
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Bill: SB22-199
Title: Native Pollinating Insects Protection Study
Position
Custom Summary

SB 199 is a follow-up to the very ambitious SB 131 regarding protecting Colorado pollinators, which was postponed indefinitely on 3/3.  This bill is asking the executive director (or designee) of the Department of Natural Resources to conduct a study as soon as practicable.  It would include challenges with native pollinating insect decline, ecosystems and health and resilience in the state and to make recommendations.  Also include best practices for state agencies in implementing policies and practices.  A report must be submitted to the general assembly  on or before January 1,2024.  This is all part of the ecosystem and how to protect these pollinators.  It has been assigned to Senate State Affairs.

StatusHouse Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/11/2022)
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
DescriptionConcerning a study regarding the protection of native pollinating insects in the state, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Full TextFull Text of Bill
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/03/2022)
House SponsorsM. Froelich (D)
C. Kipp (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
S. Jaquez Lewis (D)
House CommitteePublic and Behavioral Health & Human Services
Senate CommitteeState, Veterans and Military Affairs
VotesVotes all Legislators
LobbyistsLobbyists
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