Bill to cut pollution from buildings and appliances passes House committee

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DENVER – An appliance standards bill that will cut harmful air pollution, remove toxic mercury from lighting, reduce energy waste, and save consumers money passed its first committee vote today. The Environmental Standards for Appliances Act, House Bill 23-1161, sponsored by Representatives Kipp and Willford and Senator Cutter, passed 8 to 3.

Reducing pollution from buildings is one of 9 actions in CoPIRG’s new Ozone Agenda, which calls for the passage of policies that address ozone across industries. This bill has the potential to prevent hundreds of tons of ozone-forming pollution each year. In recent years, the northern Front Range region has suffered from some of the highest ozone pollution in the country. Breathing ozone can cause harmful health effects including lung damage, worsening of existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and cardiovascular disease.

In addition to reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from common furnaces, boilers, and water heaters and setting or updating efficiency standards for many other residential and commercial appliances, the bill will phase out fluorescent lighting that contains mercury, a potent and persistent neurotoxin. Coloradans do not need to continue to use this toxin to light our homes and businesses when non-toxic, highly efficient and affordable alternatives are available that can last twice as long and cut energy use in half.

The bill will next head to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

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