SB 24-166

  • Colorado Senate Bill
  • 2024 Regular Session
  • Introduced in Senate Feb 22, 2024
  • Senate
  • House
  • Governor

Air Quality Enforcement

Abstract

Section 1 of the bill defines a "repeat violator" as a person that, in a 3-year period, has committed 5 or more violations of certain air quality laws (repeat violator). Section 1 also defines a "high-priority repeat violator" as a repeat violator that, in a 3-year period, has committed 5 or more exceedances (emission exceedance) of the allowable emissions of an air pollutant in a permit (high-priority repeat violator). Section 2 requires the division of administration in the department of public health and environment (division), in the case of a violation by a repeat violator, to issue an order of compliance (order) for the violation instead of issuing a warning letter or compliance advisory or taking another informal action. The order must assess civil penalties and, in the case of a high-priority repeat violator, must require the high-priority repeat violator to conduct and submit to the division a root cause analysis for the violation, which must be submitted to the division within 90 days after the order. In connection with an order and in the case of a high-priority repeat violator, the division must require a reduction in emissions of any air pollutant applicable to an emission exceedance from any emission unit where a violation occurred in accordance with certain standards. Section 2 also clarifies that the division may assess civil penalties for air quality violations without instituting an action in district court. Section 2 also allows a person, with respect to air quality laws, to commence a civil action (action) against an alleged violator. A person shall not commence an action until at least 60 days after a notice has been provided to the executive director of the department of public health and environment, the director of the division, and the alleged violator. Except for violations of an ongoing or recurring nature, any action that is not commenced within 5 years after the discovery of the alleged violation is time barred. Section 2 also requires the division, on or before February 1, 2025, and on or before each February 1 thereafter, to prepare and post on the division's website an air quality enforcement report, which must contain certain air quality enforcement information from the previous calendar year. Section 3 requires that: In the case of a repeat violator, the division or a district court assess a civil penalty that is at least 50% of the maximum civil penalty applicable to the violation under applicable state air quality laws; and In the case of a violation by a repeat violator in a disproportionately impacted community, the division or a district court assess a civil penalty that is at least 75% of the maximum civil penalty applicable to the violation under applicable state air quality laws. On or before December 31, 2024, section 4 requires owners and operators of stationary sources to submit any reports or records that the owner or operator is required to create, maintain, or submit pursuant to federal or state law. The division must make any reports or records received available on the division's website within 30 days after receipt. Current law provides that a person that violates a local government's air quality regulations is subject to a maximum civil penalty of $300. Section 5 raises the maximum civil penalty to the amount provided by state air quality laws. Section 6 requires a district court, in a suit against a person that has violated a state law related to energy and carbon management, to award the initial complaining party any costs of litigation incurred by the initial complaining party if the court determines that the award is appropriate. Current law exempts damage awards from the state constitutional definition of "fiscal year spending", which counts toward the state's annual spending limit pursuant to state constitutional law. Section 7 adds civil penalties assessed by a state agency to the statutory definition of "damage awards".(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Bill Sponsors (3)

Votes


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Actions


Mar 20, 2024

Senate

Senate Committee on Transportation & Energy Refer Amended to Finance

  • Referral-Committee
Transportation & Energy Finance

Feb 22, 2024

Senate

Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Transportation & Energy

  • Introduction
Transportation & Energy

Bill Text

Bill Text Versions Format
Introduced (02/22/2024) PDF
PA1 (03/21/2024) PDF
Committee Amendment PDF

Related Documents

Document Format
Fiscal Note FN1 (03/18/2024) PDF

Sources

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