“My name is Kristin Winn. I live in Grand Junction Colorado. I have lived here for about 22 years. I grew up in Chicago where we had terrible air quality. I had severe asthma as a child growing up. After moving to Colorado I thought I grew out of my asthma. This likely was because I for the most part lived in mountain communities, where the air was clean. Then I moved to Grand Junction and the asthma came back during a really bad winter inversion.”


“Grand Junction is in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. And because of this we get temperature inversions in the winter. When inversions happen it is like what happens when you clamp a lid on a pot and all water vapor stays in the pot, but in our valley instead of water vapor staying in the pot, pollutants percolate in the valley degrading the air. Sometimes we have inversions that last all winter, particularly if it snows early in the season and the ground stays cold.  In 2013 we had a really bad inversion event that affected many, many people. A group of people​​​​​​ that were affected by the air quality during the winter of 2013 started a group to fight for clean air, called Citizens for Clean Air. I joined that group and have been active ever since.”


“The pollution in the area [Grand Junction] can be attributed to two main factors: growth causing more automobile pollution, and oil and gas development. I particularly noticed a change in the air quality around 2000, when oil and gas development in the area significantly increased. It wasn’t just winter inversions anymore; it was also bad air days in the summer. I started doing some research into the pollution from oil and gas development and found that oil and gas practices like flaring and venting release methane that contributes to ozone. Grand Junction is very close to violating federal ozone standards as a result.”


“What I have seen over the years is that the air quality is slowly getting worse. I don’t think we should wait until we are over the federal Clean Air Act standards to do something about it. That’s why I have been working for new regulations to control methane emissions from oil and gas, as well as other regulations and practices that would improve air quality.”


“My work with Citizens for Clean Air has provided me the opportunity to get involved in supporting air quality regulations. That has meant working to reduce open burning in my county and testifying in Denver on oil and gas air quality rules. For example, when the state of Colorado was one of the first states in the nation to propose controls on methane venting and flaring, we testified in favor of the rules in Denver. We also worked with Western Colorado Congress to testify in favor of the federal BLM and EPA methane rules, which were finalized in 2016. And now Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration want to roll back the rules, which I find unconscionable.”

-Kristin Winn
Grand Junction, CO