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Protesters want Colorado to 'stop clowning around' on clean air

By

Margaret Coulombe

Colorado air-quality regulators face pressure regarding renewal of a pollution permit for Denver's biggest coal-fired power plant – just as new studies from ASU show nitrogen- oxide emissions are turning once-clear mountain lakes cloudy. Researchers have found that nitrogen oxide – wafting from power plants, vehicles and agriculture – increased fourfold over the past 20 years in lakes above timberline at Rocky Mountain National Park, changing lake biology and threatening the long-term survival of fish.

"Our data suggests there are impacts from coal plants that citizens ought to be aware of, including effects on high mountain lakes. They ought to take that under advisement" in considering how they receive electricity, said Arizona State University professor Jim Elser, lead author of a study published in the academic journal Science.