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DEQ to announce plans for tackling Pinedale ozone problem

A brown sign with a mountain scene in the middle. "Welcome to Pinedale" is written around the scene. The "I" in "Pinedale" is a pine tree. At the bottom, it says "Donated by Wildwood Carving Works."
Courtesy of Pinedale Online
Courtesy of Pinedale Online

Tomorrow, the Department of Environmental Quality will announce how it plans to fix air quality problems near Pinedale.

Emissions from oil and gas development in Sublette County have caused ozone, or smog, to form at levels that exceed federal limits. Last year, a community task force recommended possible solutions. They called for tougher regulations on industry and more rigorous air quality monitoring, among other things.

But DEQ Director Todd Parfitt says for now, the agency will focus on mostly on short-term efforts that are easy to implement, rather than creating new rules. For example, they’ll push to expand so-called contingency plans, which companies put in place to reduce emissions when ozone levels spike.

“What I mean by that is expanding from just the oil and gas industry to other entities – government entities, commercial entities,” Parfitt said.

The DEQ will host a meeting with the task force tomorrow

at 6 p.m. in the Sublette County Library.

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