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Old 03-30-2007, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Maryland
5 posts, read 24,414 times
Reputation: 11

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I am looking at the Denver area as my target for relocation in the next 6-8 months but I have been getting seriouly conflicting reports on pollution! The people in this forum say the air is fresh and clean and the cities are beautiful most of the year. CNN's "Best Places" says the Fort Collins' air quality is in the top 10% of the country.

But on the other hand, I hear that Fort Collins has a coal burning powerplant in the middle of the city and the lakes are becoming ladden with mercury. I hear that Greely is upwind of Fort Collins and when the air is right you can actually taste cattle! I also have read that all the Denver area cities have smog problems in winter.

Who do I believe??? I am in Germantown, MD and I have a coal plant about 15 miles west of me. I was only here 3 years and developed asthma (how odd!). I would appreciate any honest viewpoints from people who live in and around the Denver/Fort Collins area.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:34 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
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To be honest, the air quality in the Denver area could be better, and sometimes the Denver air pollution affects Northern Colorado as well. Since we get inversions sometimes in winter, often leading to pollution hanging around for a couple weeks.

The main cause of our pollution is frankly not coal plants but cars. Even with a coal plant, technology can scrub most of the soot and harmful gases before it goes into the atmosphere (Co2 is still there, but that has more of a global impact than a local one). Cars, on the other hand, are the major producer of the really nasty stuff that you don't want to be breathing.

I'd be a lot less concerned about cows in Northern Colorado than I would the explosion of oil and gas development in Weld County. IMHO, the state really needs to crack down on emissions from this kind of development, as I'm quite sure that the operations are routinely violating the emissions laws on the books out there.

So, the answer to your question is that yes, between cars and oil and gas, we do have some issues with air pollution on the front range. Fort Collins, being a bit removed from both Denver and Greeley, would probably be less affected by pollution than some other parts of the front range, but I have seen a brown cloud hanging over Fort Collins before.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 1,949,825 times
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Fort Collins doesn't have a coal burning plant in the middle of the city. It's north, about 20-30 miles. But yes, they found high levels of mercury in the fish from Horsetooth Res.

The front range is in cattle country. Actually, most of Colorado is cattle country. Every once in a while you'll smell something from a feedlot outside Fort Collins, but I don't think from Greeley.

Those "brown clouds" are usually dust along with other pollutants. Occassionally you'll see it over the Fort but not often. Since it's windier up here, it tends to displace the pollution a little more.
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:25 PM
 
7 posts, read 42,768 times
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I have to agree. I live just north of Denver and there is definitely a brown cloud that covers all of Denver. You can see it from afar. I don't really smell the cloud when I'm in Denver except when going through Commerce City (JUST north of Denver). That's really disgusting. I have to put the air in my car on recycling it's so bad. Occasionally I'll smell the "cow" scent here. Kind of nasty I have to say, but only happens once in a while. If you head towards Loveland and north, I'd say the air there is much better than down in Denver. I've never noticed a cloud over Fort Collins, although there might be one.
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado
10,017 posts, read 16,692,551 times
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You ought to see our brown cloud here in PHX year round!!!!!!!!!!!!! You could cut it with a knife.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado
431 posts, read 2,500,244 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
To be honest, the air quality in the Denver area could be better, and sometimes the Denver air pollution affects Northern Colorado as well. Since we get inversions sometimes in winter, often leading to pollution hanging around for a couple weeks.

The main cause of our pollution is frankly not coal plants but cars. Even with a coal plant, technology can scrub most of the soot and harmful gases before it goes into the atmosphere (Co2 is still there, but that has more of a global impact than a local one). Cars, on the other hand, are the major producer of the really nasty stuff that you don't want to be breathing.

I'd be a lot less concerned about cows in Northern Colorado than I would the explosion of oil and gas development in Weld County. IMHO, the state really needs to crack down on emissions from this kind of development, as I'm quite sure that the operations are routinely violating the emissions laws on the books out there.

So, the answer to your question is that yes, between cars and oil and gas, we do have some issues with air pollution on the front range. Fort Collins, being a bit removed from both Denver and Greeley, would probably be less affected by pollution than some other parts of the front range, but I have seen a brown cloud hanging over Fort Collins before.
Please, the front range covers more than the northern part of the state. And no we do not have air pollution in the southern front range. So please clarify that you are only speaking of northern not all there is. That has got to be very confusing to people asking. The high population is in Northern part of the front range of Colorado. And yes to us not living in that area, it smells when we get close to the Denver area. And yes my eyes burn and yes my nose clogs up. If I am in the area for an hr or 2, I too do not smell it as bad. I would rather smell animals than that brown cloud. Altho, it is better than it used to be. So it is being worked on, I would say.

Last edited by Nadine; 03-30-2007 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:39 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
Please, the front range covers more than the northern part of the state. And no we do not have air pollution in the southern front range. So please clarify that you are only speaking of northern not all there is. That has got to be very confusing to people asking. The high population is in Northern part of the front range of Colorado. And yes to us not living in that area, it smells when we get close to the Denver area. And yes my eyes burn and yes my nose clogs up. If I am in the area for an hr or 2, I too do not smell it as bad. I would rather smell animals than that brown cloud. Altho, it is better than it used to be. So it is being worked on, I would say.
My apologies. I was speaking about the Metro Denver and Northern Colorado primarily, so I should not have made it sound like that is representative of the entire front range.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Colorado
346 posts, read 1,417,681 times
Reputation: 261
Go to www.lungusa.org, which is part of the American Lung Association. There will be a small green box titled "How's Your Air?" You type in your zip code, and it will give letter grades as well as the number of ozone and particle pollution days per year. The criteria is rather strict, as 3 days of pollution automatically demands a letter grade of a D, I believe. So I tend to ignore the grade and just look at the number of days. Compare Denver with L.A. County--AAARRRGGHH! I live within L.A. County, and can't wait to get out of this mess. The site will also provide lists of best and worst, with Riverside and L.A. counties topping the list of worst, year after year. I think Colorado Springs has ZERO pollution days! Anyway, have fun researching and comparing. It's eye-opening--but Denver certainly doesn't seem to have a major problem from what I've seen and researched.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:47 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,790,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebagirl View Post
...I think Colorado Springs has ZERO pollution days!
Thank you. Its perfectly clear here in Colorado Springs as I write this.
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 1,949,825 times
Reputation: 196
Every once in a while from the Loveland airport, I can see a bit of brown on the horizon over Fort Collins.
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