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Posted on: May 12, 2021

City of Aspen's 2020 Air Quality Report

Aspen area on a good air quality day, clear skies

City Report Released About Aspen’s Air Quality

Contact: Jannette Whitcomb, Senior Environmental Health Specialist of Air Quality, City of Aspen, Jannette.Whitcomb@CityOfAspen.com, 970.920.5069. 

Aspen, Colorado – May 12, 2021 – Aspen has good air most of the year. The City of Aspen’s recently published Air Quality Report, 2020 catalogs the air quality protection efforts taken by the City of Aspen and its partners, outlines air quality and its importance, and presents recommendations to withstand and combat negative air quality impacts now and into the future. According to the report, there were only two days of unhealthy air in Aspen in 2020. 

Among the efforts taken by the City of Aspen to preserve Aspen’s good air quality is the usage of air quality monitors. Monitors provide high-quality data about the pollutants that infiltrate Aspen’s troposphere, the layer of air that we live and breathe in. This data influences the implementation of programs and ordinances that help protect Aspen’s air quality. Construction mitigation, anti-idling, and wood-burning ordinances, as well as traffic reduction programs, aid in decreasing the number of pollutants that can infiltrate Aspen air. 

In 2020, the Aspen area had more days rated as healthy than in 2019 and 2018. Poor air quality days were due to smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire and other wildfires in the region. Aspen had not experienced such high pollution days since the dust storms in 2009 and 2013. 

“The City of Aspen focuses on providing accurate air quality data and recommendations to the community so it can take the proper precautions in the case of a negative air quality event such as a wildfire,” states Jannette Whitcomb, Senior Environmental Health Specialist of Air Quality with the City of Aspen. “Short- and/or long-term exposure to air pollution can be associated with a wide range of human health effects including increased respiratory symptoms, hospitalization for heart or lung diseases, and premature death. Specific groups within the general population may have a greater risk of pollution effects due to a variety of factors such as age, lung or heart conditions, and intensity of outdoor activity.”   

The City’s air quality webpage, www.AspenAirQuality.com, is updated hourly with current air quality levels using the EPA’s health-based Air Quality Index and is a helpful resource during air quality events. For more information and to download the City of Aspen Air Quality Report, 2020 visit www.cityofaspen.com/303/Annual-Air-Quality-Report.  

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