During the 1970’s and 80’s, Aspen’s air quality was in peril. Smoke from fireplaces and exhaust from vehicles (trapped by temperature inversions) hung low over the city almost blocking out Aspen Mountain at times. In an effort to clear Aspen’s non-attainment status for particulate matter 10 microns or less in size (PM10), Aspen passed several clean air ordinances including a ban on wood burning fireplaces, restricting vehicle idling and cleaning up restaurant grill fumes.
One of the biggest factors in Aspen’s clean air today was the passage of paid parking in Aspen in conjunction with the amazing bus service provided by the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA).
Aspen maintains its clean air ordinances and transit programs to continue to breathe the clean mountain air and enjoy the mountain vistas Aspen is known for. Aspen was officially re-designated as meeting the Clean Air Act standards in 2002.