EPA lowers Denver area’s air quality rating to ‘serious’


A “brown cloud” over Denver on March 8, 2019. (Photo: FOX31)

DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has downgraded the air quality rating of Colorado’s biggest population center.

The EPA finalized the move Monday, lowering the ozone status of Denver and eight other northern Colorado counties from “moderate” to “serious.”

That will force the state to work harder to reduce harmful pollution but also bring tougher and costly regulations for businesses.

Gov. Jared Polis took the unusual step of inviting the EPA to downgrade the rating. He said in August that it was time to stop “sugar-coating” Colorado’s air problems.

Related: Is Denver’s brown cloud worse than it used to be?

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