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Environmental justice in air permitting

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Please note: If you would like to request a Spanish interpretation, please email cdphe_apcd_outreach@state.co.us.

Tenga en cuenta: Si desea solicitar interpretación al español, envíe un mensaje por correo electrónico a cdphe_apcd_outreach@state.co.us.

For questions or assistance related to the Environmental Justice Report Tool for Air Quality Regulation 3, please email cdphe_apcd_ejreports@state.co.us with “EJ Summary” and the facility name in the subject line.

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Environmental Justice Summary requirements overview

Starting July 15, 2023, all applicable permit applicants must submit an Environmental Justice Summary prior to submitting their permit application. Disproportionately impacted communities generally have more environmental pollution exposure and may experience higher levels of environmental health harm. Many of these communities are home to people of color and low-income families. The Environmental Justice Summaries must cover environmental health data about the community where the air pollution source operates. 

This web page provides information about how to create and submit a complete Environmental Justice Summary.

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How to submit a complete Environmental Justice Summary

A complete Environmental Justice Summary includes the following components:

  1. The Environmental Justice Report. The report provides  a satellite image of the facility with a one-mile radius of the surrounding area 
  2. The “Environmental Justice Summary Supplemental Information for Air Quality Regulation 3” online form. Questions in the form are available online so you can compile all required information before submitting the form.

Environmental Justice Report Tool for Air Quality Regulation 3

The Environmental Justice Report Tool for Air Quality Regulation 3 is designed for air pollution permit applicants to use when implementing the Disproportionately Impacted Community Permitting Rule adopted by the Air Quality Control Commission in May 2023.
 

The Environmental Justice Reporting Tool for Air Quality Regulation 3 automatically generates an Environmental Justice Report required for the Environmental Justice Summary. The tool can provide information on:

  • Whether a facility is located in a Disproportionately Impacted Community.
    The Colorado EnviroScreen score and environmental, health, and sociodemographic data for the census block group where a facility is located.
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Map of Colorado in the Environmental Justice Report Tool for Air Quality Regulation 3.
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Figure 1. Caption: The map in the Environmental Justice Report for Air Quality Regulation 3 shows Disproportionately Impacted Communities. Cumulatively Impacted Communities are shown in purple and Socioeconomically Vulnerable Communities are shown in orange. Green indicates vegetation on the map.  

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Submit the Environmental Justice Summary

To submit a complete Environmental Justice Summary follow these two required steps:

Email all required attachments, including the Environmental Justice Report, to cdphe_apcd_ejreports@state.co.us with “EJ Summary” and the facility name in the subject line.

Submit supplemental Environmental Justice Summary information using the Air Pollution Control Division’s online form. 

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Community engagement and outreach considerations

Community engagement is encouraged but not currently mandated in Air Quality Regulation 3. For tips on how to conduct effective outreach, visit CDPHE’s community engagement, outreach, and public participation best practices website. More information on community engagement considerations for Air Quality Regulation 3 is available on the frequently asked questions web page.

Please provide documentation as an email attachment for any community engagement efforts conducted when you submit the Environmental Justice Summary and/or permit application.

If you have questions or would like to discuss specific community engagement efforts that your facility could conduct for a particular permit and community, email cdphe_apcd_ejreports@state.co.us with the facility name in the subject line.

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Next steps and timelines

Once all required Environmental Justice Summary materials are received, the Air Pollution Control Division’s Environmental Justice in Permitting team reviews them. Once reviewed, the team sends the facility a letter of concurrence. This letter confirms the complete Environmental Justice Summary was received and approved by the division. 

The division works to process complete Environmental Justice Summary submissions as quickly as possible. It generally completes this process within 5-10 business days.

The facility must include the division’s letter of concurrence and the facility’s complete Environmental Justice Summary materials with the permit application.

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Modeling requirements determination

If a modeling determination (form APCD-114) is required for the emission source, you should submit your modeling determination request at the same time you submit the Environmental Justice Summary. Follow the instructions on form APCD-114. If you are unsure whether a modeling determination is required, please consult the Air Pollution Control Division’s Air Quality Modeling Guidance for Permits website.

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Disproportionately impacted community permitting rule

For more information, visit the disproportionately impacted community permitting rule web page.

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Contact us

Email cdphe_apcd_ejreports@state.co.us with “EJ Summary” and the facility name in the subject line.

Small businesses can contact the Air Pollution Control Division’s Small Business Assistance Program for assistance: cdphe_apcd_sbap@state.co.us