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CARE - Healthy Air for Northeast Denver: Helping Achieve a New Direction in Environmental Leadership (HAND-in-HAND)

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North Denver area residents, predominantly low-income people of color, live in a highly industrialized community fragmented by three major transportation corridors. The area has been targeted by EPA Region 8 as an area of concern due to disproportionate air quality impacts from industrial and mobile source emissions. Several of the HAND neighborhoods have been classified as Environmental Justice communities.

Since 2000, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) conducted two non-contiguous years of air toxics monitoring. The results proved interesting, both in comparison to other metropolitan areas as well as identifying spatial variations across Denver. In 2000-2001, speciated nonmethane organic compounds (SNMOC) data in Denver showed that for almost all compounds, concentrations equaled or exceeded those observed in Houston, TX. This is despite the fact that the Houston area has three times the population, significantly more traffic, and many more petrochemical facilities. Frequent year-round temperature inversions make air quality management in Denver a challenging task.

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