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Michael Booth

Michael Booth is a Colorado Sun reporter covering health, health policy and the environment.

Booth site profile

Denver wants to start charging for garbage pickup by volume. Residents have questions.

City climate leaders say they’ve been talking about an overhaul since 2010, but wary customers worry about fines, liens against homes, and wrangling big carts.


Fire tore through a Colorado ranch sanctuary. The humans are fine, but the damage is deep.

May Ranch near Lamar has transformed itself into a sustainable, nationally recognized conservation champion, home to endangered species. A wildfire threatens much of the gain.


Colorado to strengthen plan to protect views at Rocky Mountain National Park, sidestepping Sierra Club lawsuit

Required update to cutting air pollution at national parks is late, but environmental groups say they have won some victories in the revisions.


Attempt to stop Colorado water speculation is circling the drain

Despite intense pressure from drought, downstream states and private-money water development, the legislature says impinging farmers’ right to sell is too risky.


Colorado Parks & Wildlife director suspended after alleged “back of the bus” comment about Black employee  

Department of Natural Resources puts Dan Prenzlow on paid leave while investigating comments at a Vail conference where the employee said she was traumatized by racism.


Colorado new car sales tilt more toward EVs, but some green states are doing better

1st quarter 2022 buying habits show dominance of Tesla, the relentless march of SUVs, and disappearing old school sedans.


Colorado finds “forever chemicals” PFAS in 100% of fish sampled in three big counties 

In another alarming report about the spread of the toxic waterproofing chemicals, the state says all fish sampled in El Paso, Adams and Jefferson counties were contaminated. Is any level of human consumption safe?


Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission rejects citizen petition to get faster clean trucks rules

A coalition led by Colorado GreenLatinos, the City and County of Denver, NAACP Colorado and more asked the commission to draft rules and pass them by the end of this year


Denver wants a major recycling expansion. But it needs to start charging fees to get it done.

City council will consider a big waste-reduction push making residents pay progressively more for larger trash bins, while recycling & composting bins are “free."


Straight from the slaughterhouse to aviation, Colorado is pumping beef fat into a fancy jet near you  

In fact you may be riding on the sustainable aviation fuel using tallow to reduce the carbon footprint of flying, now in tankers and plane wings at the Vail Valley Jet Center.


Colorado will have hundreds more air pollution sources to permit. Here’s how the state is gearing up.  

State air officials’ big budget request includes dozens of staffers to hit backlog when EPA declares Front Range in “severe” nonattainment.


EPA downgrades Colorado’s ozone problem to “severe,” forcing stricter cuts to pollution

The EPA’s long expected move will force North Front Range counties to make changes to gas formula and hundreds of new pollution permits


More Colorado community solar gardens moving forward after PUC rejects Xcel effort to postpone

Small group projects giving free solar access to low-income residents will accelerate, putting the state at the top of equitable solar projects, utility experts say.


Colorado solar companies delay work, warn of catastrophe from U.S. Commerce import probe

A federal investigation of one domestic panel maker’s complaint means supplies are disappearing or shooting up in price, threatening projects, jobs and climate change progress, industry says.


Advocates want to charge companies to create a statewide recycling program in Colorado

A bill aims to stretch recycling to more communities and boost abysmal 15% participation rates, while bolstering the materials supply chain for industry.


Nebraska wants to build a $500 million canal over the border. Can Colorado stop it?

Remnants of the last time the Huskers tried this, in 1894, pock the landscape of far northeastern Colorado. Experts say there’s a difference between water rights and what’s right.


EPA objects to Colorado’s approval of Suncor permit, asks for changes

Environmental groups and neighbors had asked the federal agency to block the operating permit, and EPA agrees it has problems with the refinery


As “forever chemical” concerns mount, Colorado lawmakers move to ban product sales

Dangerous materials used in firefighting foam, clothing, nonstick surfaces and more are showing up in drinking water and soil. A new bill joins other states in pushing industry to stop using them.


Environmental coalition demands Colorado speed up clean truck rules, citing long delays in air pollution cuts

Environmental groups who have successfully forced faster clean water action now demand Air Quality Control Commission move pollution rules to 2022 and speed up change.


A shrinking county on the Western Slope wants to grow with the help of a new dam. Some say “No, thanks.”

Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District hopes to build an off-channel dam at Wolf Creek and pump river water north to fill it. A nearby landowner and river groups say it’s the wrong idea at the worst time.

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