Colorado Environment - General regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Colorado Environment - General: What you need to know

Overview of Colorado's Environmental Rules


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In Colorado, the counterpart to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). CDPHE is responsible for protecting Colorado's land, water, and air from pollution. CDPHE has been delegated authority by EPA to administer and enforce federal regulatory programs for air emissions, surface wastewater effluent and stormwater discharges, groundwater discharges, and waste management. Various state regulatory requirements are more stringent than corresponding federal requirements. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) retains authority for regulating workplace safety and environmental rules in the private sector.


Colorado's air program is shaped by its state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP is a plan that details basic strategies for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). As mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA), each state must adopt and submit a SIP to EPA for approval. Colorado's SIP was officially submitted to EPA in January 1972 and is frequently amended to comply with the 1990 CAA amendments. The SIP focuses on permitting, requirements for nonattainment areas, hazardous air pollutants, and numerous other air-related requirements.

The Air Pollution Control Division of CDPHE's Office of Environment is responsible for administering and enforcing Colorado's air rules.


Colorado's water pollution control regulations generally follow the federal regulations. The state is authorized by EPA to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program ...

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