Weekly Round-Up — Nov. 14

By Kendall Brunette


A new study, led by researchers at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that dust from Colorado’s eastern prairies is making its way onto high-elevation Rocky Mountain snowpacks.  According to a CIRES news release, snow littered with dust particles absorbs more solar radiation, which accelerates melting.  Much of this accelerated melting occurs high in the Rocky Mountains – the headwaters of the Colorado River.  Early runoff from melting snowpack will negatively impact the 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River for water.


Since September’s devastating floods, the Colorado Department of Transportation and local partners have worked tirelessly to reopen highways and roads that were overtaken by water across the state.  According to the Daily Camera, only 32 miles of highway remained closed and impassable for drivers.  Out of the 485 miles of road damaged during the flooding, U.S. 34 between Loveland and Estes Park and Colorado 7 from the Peak-to-Peak Highway to Lyons are all that is left to be repaired and reopened.


A new set of proposed air quality regulations seem weak in the eyes of Colorado’s anti-fracking activists.  According to Boulder Weekly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released new air quality standards, leading the state of Colorado to update its rules which will be presented to the state Air Quality Control Commission on Nov. 21.  Environmentalists argue that the new regulations do not adequately address local air quality infractions and blame the oil and gas industry for pressuring state officials to soften the new rules.


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