Ozone Kills!

Unlike the ozone high in the atmosphere that keeps us safe from the Sun’s rays, ozone at ground level is dangerous. It causes increased hospitalization and death for people with respiratory or cardiac illness, it increases asthma development in children, and it leads to decreased lung function and scarring in people with no previous lung conditions. See the American Lung Association website for more information. 

Where does ozone come from?

Ground-level ozone is caused when certain pollutants react with sunlight. Cars and trucks are one source of these pollutants, called NOx and VOCs, but fracking and other oil and gas activities are by far the largest source. In fact, oil and gas activities cause more of this pollution than on-road sources, off-road sources, and non-oil and gas point sources combined.

Ozone in the Front Range

The Denver Metro and North Front Range has had dangerous levels of ozone for 15 years – so bad, it now has a ‘severe’ rating from the EPA. Colorado has to develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to get our ozone levels down. But they are not tackling fracking–they are letting fracking emissions rise by 11% by 2026. Drivers in the high ozone areas will often see warnings to drive less on high ozone days, but there are no similar warnings for fracking sites. There are no current or proposed rules to rein in fracking activities during ozone season. 

Take action now

Send to Governor Polis, the Air Pollution Control Division, the Air Quality Control Commission, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.


Click here to quickly send an email – tell the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, the Air Pollution Control Division, the Air Quality Control Commission and the Governor that ozone pollution caused by oil and gas is a serious issue and we want them to take strong action.

Share on Social Media Ozone Action Toolkit – includes more ways to take action, talking points and sample social media posts for amplification

Write an Letter to the Editor on Ozone – Reference these talking points & sample letter

Check out the Toolkit for public action on ozone with sample posts, tweets and more.

Learn More

In August, environmental groups representing well over 100,000 Coloradans impacted by climate change and air pollution formally submitted a rulemaking petition to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to make new rules to address the harmful cumulative impacts of the oil and gas industry: a mandate enacted in 2019 by SB19-181.

Check out this Truth About Ozone webinar, translated into Spanish.

Blog & newsletter articles on ozone pollution and ways to take action:

Enviro Groups Demand Rules to Protect Coloradans from Ozone, Oil and Gas Impacts
Fracking is #1 Cause of Dangerous Ground-Level Ozone Pollution
Zero Fare for Better Air

Press coverage of the issue and opinion pieces in the media:

Published Opinion Pieces: