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Colorado’s House Bill 1189 Overview

August 25, 2021

By: Austin Heitmann & Patrick Clark

What is House Bill 1189?

In June of 2021 Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1189 into law.  The objective of House Bill 1189 is to provide additional public health protections in relation to air toxics.  House Bill 1189 requires real time air monitoring, including fenceline and community, for Air Toxics.  The covered air toxics are hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene.  The community monitoring will be performed by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) while the fenceline monitoring is the responsibility of the facility.  The compliance dates to have a fully operational fenceline program is currently January 1, 2023 for a petroleum refinery and July 1, 2024 for all other affected facilities.

What will the Fenceline Program Look Like?

House Bill 1189 requires real time monitoring and references “…using optical remote sensing or other monitoring technology with the ability to provide real-time spatial and temporal data…”  Although not stated in the bill, CDPHE has said the intent of this requirement is that facilities install open path (OP) optical equipment such as Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (OP-FTIR), Ultra Violet Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (OP-UV DOAS) or Tunable Diode Laser (OP-TDL).  This is similar to what is required at California refineries under South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Rule 1180 and Bay Area Air Quality – Management District’s (BAAQMD) Rule 12-15.  To comply, open path instruments are installed along the entire fenceline of the facility to monitor for the specific Air Toxics.  The community is alerted if air toxic concentrations exceed the “notification threshold” which is defined by “the division” and included in the monitoring plan.

What are the General Requirements?

The specific aspects of the fenceline monitoring program will be detailed in a monitoring plan and based upon discussions and planning with the CDPHE. Additional requirements of House Bill 1189 are outlined below:

  • In addition to monitoring hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene, the facility must monitor wind speed and wind direction
  • Local government must be included in the creation of the monitoring plan
  • There must be two public meetings to discuss the monitoring plan
  • There must be a public facing web page to communicate information and data to the public, local government, area schools and the CDPHE
  • There must be an alert system if concentrations of hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene exceed the defined alert thresholds
  • The CDPHE can add additional air toxics and must assess if additional air toxics should be monitored “…every five years or more frequently if it deems it appropriate to do so…”

This last point is very important when it comes to selecting equipment and infrastructure.  For example, if a facility chose OP-FTIR for hydrogen cyanide some additional compounds can be added at a later time if required by CDPHE.  If, however, a facility chose OP-TDL for hydrogen cyanide, which is much less expensive than OP-FTIR, this could limit the ability to easily add compounds.  This could be good or bad, depending on the position taken by CDPHE.

What to do?

Start planning early.  If you are a facility with a July 1, 2024 compliance date, we recommend contractor selection two years in advance to begin the process of negotiating with stakeholders, creating a monitoring plan, negotiating a final monitoring plan, acquiring equipment, installing infrastructure, installing equipment, calibrating equipment, and allowing time for a “shakedown period”.

The intent of this bill is to inform public health exposures to air toxics from facility emissions. As such, successful implementation of the requirements in this bill will require a consulting firm with multi-disciplinary expertise in air quality monitoring and public health toxicology to develop a comprehensive air monitoring plan, provide strategic guidance on appropriate notification thresholds, ensure scientifically sound interpretation of the data in a public health risk context and  public health risk communication.

For More Information

For additional information visit here.

If you would like to learn more about Montrose’s services and how they can help you comply by the required dates and reduce costs by using a firm with a strong local Colorado presence, reach out today and speak to one of our experts.

Austin Heitmann
Project Manager, Emerging Technologies
Austin Heitmann has been a client project manager with Montrose Air Quality Services since 2015. He focuses on evaluating new technologies and determining applicability for client’s air quality needs. Austin’s background is in source and ambient air quality testing, and he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Colorado State University.

Patrick Clark
VP, Ambient Air Monitoring
Patrick Clark brings over 25 years of industry experience to the Montrose team where he currently serves as Vice President of Ambient Air and Emerging Technology. As a subject matter expert, he has spoken and served as session chair at numerous technical conferences for the industry. Patrick holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.

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