Visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado expect clean air and clear views, but unfortunately, the park is affected by many sources of air pollution. These pollutants can damage natural resources like soil, surface water, plants, wildlife, and visibility. The National Park Service works to address the effects of air pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park and other parks across the United States. Breathing air pollution can have both immediate and long-term health effects. Short-term exposure can cause eye irritation, wheezing and coughing, shortness of breath, and nausea.
Long-term exposure is associated with lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Maternal exposure to air pollution is linked to adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm delivery. A recent Colorado air quality report revealed that motor vehicles and oil and gas operations are the two main local sources of pollution. More than 125 million metric tons of dangerous heat-trapping gases pollute Colorado's air every year, harming public health and accelerating global warming. The Agency is working to protect human health and the environment by providing funding opportunities for important environmental and community projects. The haze that reduces visibility is caused by tiny particles in the air which can also affect human health.
Data from EJScreen suggests that there is potential for concern about environmental violence in the area due to a combination of high pollution burden and population vulnerability. Depending on prevailing winds, air masses from the southern and northern parts of the metropolitan area sometimes mix, allowing emissions from various sources to produce ozone more easily. Many epiphytic lichen species are sensitive to changes in air pollution. Colorado's fossil fuel producers and oil and gas industry are major pollutants, emitting about 15.6 million tons a year. The city offers programs and information to improve outdoor air quality for Fort Collins residents.
Located along some of the city's major highways, along with a large number of regulated facilities and areas with a legacy of pollution, community members have expressed concern for their health, the environment, and the community. The EPA has issued an agreement addressing violations of the General Duties Clause (GDC) and Risk Management Program (RMP) under Sections 112 (r) (and 112 (r) () of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This agreement makes owners and operators of facilities responsible for ensuring that their chemicals are managed safely and that steps be taken to reduce the risk of accidental releases of chemicals which can have serious consequences for public health and safety. The largest states with heavy industry produce the most air pollution. Even so, it is necessary to improve visibility in the park to achieve the Clean Air Act's goal of preventing people from causing harm. Some of the most polluting vehicles on the roads are school buses which are often found in low-income communities.