COLORADO UNDER SMOKY SKIES
Undated—The fires around the west forced state and local health officials to issue an Air Quality Health Advisory today. It was issued for most of Western Colorado including the following counties; Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Moffat, Delta, Gunnison, Jackson, Grand, Rio Blanco and Routt. The largest and nearest fire is outside of Steamboat Springs where the Deep Creek Fire has burned over 2,100 acres with no containment. Children and older folks in the valley may feel the effects of the thick, heavy smoke in the air. According to Garfield County health officials, all three of the county's monitoring sites in Rifle, Battlement Mesa and Carbondale are taking constant air quality readings and right now they are all showing moderate levels of particulate matter. According to EPA standards, if visibility is less than five miles, it's recommended that anyone with respiratory problems like asthma or lung disease should avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Currently, 77 wildfires in eight western states have burned roughly one and a half million acres in Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California and Utah.
JAPAN EAGER FOR LIQUID NATURAL GAS
Rifle—It could be a while before Garfield County begins shipping liquid natural gas to overseas markets. Commissioner Mike Samson says due to several delays including a slow process in filling positions on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Jordan Cove Pipeline isn't expected to be approved until December of 2019. The pipeline would ship LNG from the Piceance Basin to Coos Bay, Oregon then on to overseas markets like Japan. Samson recently met with the Japanese Envoy and says the far east is ready to do business now. Samson says the market for LNG from the western U.S. is wide open to expansion and would provide a steady stream of revenue for decades. Samson was joined at the meeting by commissioners from Mesa and Rio Blanco counties.
TIPTON REACTS TO DACA DECISION
Washington, D.C.—The children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for what their parents did years ago according to Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton. The Cortez Republican who's Third District has a large population of Latino constituents says DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was unconstitutionally created by President Obama. Tipton says while he does not support DACA, he believes congress must be compassionate and come up with a commonsense solution for the children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. He says many young people have been raised and educated in America and have become productive, valued members of society. The program will be phased out in six months and now new applications for work permits under DACA will be accepted. All existing permits will be honored until the expiration date.
FIRST DAY OF CLASSES FOR RE-1 GOES WELL
Glenwood Springs—From Glenwood Springs to Basalt, it seems parents and students alike were prepared and well rehearsed for the first day of school without a bridge. C-DOT project spokesman Tom Newland says for the most part, people found safe ways to get to school on time. He says additional traffic tie ups and longer lines did form leading up to the exit 114 detour but a lot of students heeded the message to find alternate forms of transportation to get to school including walking, riding bikes or taking the bus.