This table represents Aspen’s top ten highest 8-hour ozone averages for the month of May, 2014. Clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that breathing ozone can cause adverse health effects at levels as low as 60 ppb over an 8-hour period. April had three days with levels above 60 ppb but none at the EPA 8-hour standard of 75 ppb. The two most common sources of ozone in Western Colorado are believed to be natural gas drilling & production, and vehicle exhaust.
Review Aspen's historical ozone levels to see how last month's levels stack up to the past.
Located near the intersection of Highway 82 and Cemetery Lane, the City’s ozone monitor will help determine if levels in the Aspen area are below EPA’s standard of 75 ppb, an analysis that will require three years of data. In the near-term, if levels approach the EPA standard, staff will take action by cross referencing weather, traffic and oil and gas data in light of the new monitor’s results. This information will allow officials to determine what actions, if any, are needed to reduce ozone levels.
The highest ozone level ever measured on Colorado’s Western Slope was recorded on Aspen Mountain in the summer of 2007. However, more research must be done to determine from where the ozone originates. Because ozone has serious health effects, we need to find out if there are high levels in town. This is why the City of Aspen has begun monitoring ozone levels, and will work with the US Forrest Service to compare Aspen’s levels with those from their nearby monitors.
Please contact Jannette Whitcomb at 970-920-5069 with any ozone questions.