Sep 222008
Authors: Chelsea Cushing

Still riding on the cusp of President Larry Penley’s annual address, this week’s 24th Annual Clean Air Conference will delve into topics pertinent to fulfilling Penley’s 2020 carbon-neutral plan.

CSU and the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control will host the conference, themed “Global Awareness Drives Change,” through Thursday this week at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder. The main focus will be how to address local air quality issues.

“We must approach the carbon problem in every way possible, and many speakers at the conference will address this issue — especially Bill Parton, a representative from CSU,” said Lenora Bohren, director of the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control.

Parton, from the National Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU, will moderate a session about the role of biofuels on air quality. The conference will also hold workshops and other sessions on topics including climate change, global issues, pollution control strategies, education and outreach, diesel and off-road emissions. The conference is being held in Boulder for access purposes.

“We normally hold the conference in the mountains where the air is clean, such as Keystone; however, with national and international guests traveling here for the conference, Boulder was the best option because it is not a big city and yet it is close to the airport,” Bohren said.

Tom Plant, a representative from the Governor’s Energy Office is scheduled to deliver the keynote address about Colorado’s approach to improving air quality. Andrew Bascue from the city of Boulder will moderate a session covering Boulder and Denver’s air quality scenario.

Presentations at the conference will be given by groups including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere from CSU, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from Golden.

The National Center for Vehicle Admissions Control was established in 1976 in order to help control vehicle admissions and protect air quality. The center began hosting the conference in 1985 in order to bring persons representing industry, government, environmental organizations and educators together to discuss ways to improve air quality.

“Improving air quality is a very big issue in our society right now,” said sophomore open-option major Ashley Little. “It is very important that conferences like this are held because it gives students a chance to gain knowledge of how to help battle pollution.”

Admission for students will be free, and students are encouraged to drive down to participate in the conference activities.

“There are a lot of different sessions that would strongly benefit students. These sessions will explain what can be done in order to help control air quality in today’s society,” Bohren said.

For a full agenda of the conference, visit

Staff writer Chelsea Cushing can be reached at

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