Air pollution from Longmont landscaping company impacts boy with cystic fibrosis

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LONGMONT, Colo. — The parents of a Longmont boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis say their son is unable play outside in his own neighborhood without a mask on his face because of air pollution produced by Colorado Materials, a landscaping company.

The boy’s condition was, at one point, so severe that he was in an intensive care unit for weeks, according to his family.

“We’ve been on this for quite a while corresponding back and forth with the city,” the boy’s stepfather, Jesse Gale, said.

Gale said his stepson’s condition is negativly impacted by operations and product at Colorado Materials. The company is located across the street from their mobile home. The family says it has been dealing with the nuisance for about five years.

The boy, Malachi, suffers from cystic fibrosis — a disease leading to mucus buildup that can affect much of the body.

“When it’s pretty bad, it’s like you can’t even see down the street,” Malachi said.

The family provided a picture of the neighborhood during what they said was a windy day. The picture shows signs of air pollution, creating diminished visibility.

Colorado Materials said it works to mitigate air pollution by wetting soil and mulch stored on the property.

Video on Wednesday showed mulch piles taller than concrete barriers, making the debris more vulnerable to wind.

Gale said the city of Longmont and Boulder County have been passing responsibility over the issue back and forth.

“We just get the run around,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because we live in a trailer park or what the case is.”

The city of Longmont and Boulder County said the issue will be investigated.

A representative for Colorado Materials said the company is compliant with all ordinances.