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August 11, 2020

OSCAR Newsletter | August 2020

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August 2020

Welcome to Boulder County's Office of Sustainability, Climate Action, and Resilience (OSCAR) newsletter. This newsletter is emailed once a month and contains stories and information about our work, along with opportunities for the public to get involved in sustainability and climate action initiatives.



Director of Sustainability, Climate Action & Resilience, Boulder County

Welcome! As the director of Boulder County’s newly formed Office of Sustainability, Climate Action & Resilience (OSCAR), I’m thrilled to introduce you to our work.

Sustainability has always been a high priority for the Boulder County community. This year, however, it is increasingly clear that our work extends far beyond the borders of our county. The global pandemic, systemic racism, climate change, and poor air quality are all interconnected issues that require us to approach sustainability more holistically.

At their core, climate change and environmental degradation are justice issues. People of color and low income communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution, economic insecurity, and climate disasters. With the COVID crisis, there are proven links between poverty, air pollution, underlying respiratory illness, and a higher risk of death from the virus. These unequal impacts are compounded by centuries of systemic racism that make it difficult for frontline communities to thrive and shape our future.

Because of this, creating a sustainable Boulder County means building a more equitable community. As we work to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and environmental impact, we are also reimagining what we must do to ensure that all residents benefit from a more resilient decarbonized economy with clean air and opportunities to thrive.

Boulder County is an exceptional place to live, work, and play. By advancing sustainability, justice, and resilience, we can protect and expand our high quality of life for all while also preserving it for future generations. I am humbled and excited to serve as the Director of this newly formed OSCAR department and look forward to working closely with the community to create a better tomorrow for both our county and our planet. — Susie

Small Business Equity Program

Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) launched a Small Business Equity Program to help local businesses save energy and money by replacing outdated restaurant/grocery equipment and lighting.

Read more here or visit to see if you qualify for up to 70% of equipment replacement costs.


Electric Vehicle Resources

We asked four Boulder County residents why they bought their electric vehicles. Watch this video to hear what they said.

Visit for limited time offers and discounts along with information about vehicle models and charging.


Tips for Safer Pesticide Use

Long after the pests are gone, chemicals can contaminate groundwater and aquatic ecosystems for years. Sprinklers and rain wash chemicals from your lawn and garden onto the street and storm drains, which lead straight to local waterways without any treatment.

Learn more about safer pesticide use and alternatives.


EnergySmart Home Energy Efficiency Improvement

Staying home, working remotely, and keeping our families healthy has become the new reality. And with this new reality, comes higher utility bills, greater awareness of our home function and comfort, and the potential of increased exposure to indoor air pollutants. EnergySmart addresses these issues through free energy advising, a contractor network committed to maintaining the latest COVID-19 safety practices, and financial incentives to reduce the cost of home improvement projects. Visit or call 303.544.1000.

Para los nativos de habla hispana o todos aquellos que prefieren comunicarse en español, nuestro asesor de energía bilingüe y nativo de habla hispana de EnergySmart está allí para responder sus preguntas y servirle. Para contactar a Gustavo, visite o llame al 303.544.1000.

Recent News


OSCAR awarded EPA grant

OSCAR was awarded a $105,000 EPA grant to facilitate pollution prevention within Boulder County’s food and beverage manufacturing industry. The focus of this prevention will come through food packaging redesign with measurable outcomes in the reduction of CO2, water, and toxicity.


Why Colorado communities are demanding climate justice

"Corporations like Exxon and Suncor are reckless partners that regularly step out of line... often one’s best recourse is to take them to court to make them pay for the costs of their actions," writes Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner. Click here to read the full Op-Ed in the Colorado Sun.


New report sheds light on energy use in cannabis cultivation facilities

The Cannabis Energy Impact Offset Fund sponsored an energy assessment of cannabis cultivation facilities in unincorporated Boulder County. The report assessed energy usage and offered recommendations to increase cost savings and lower carbon footprints.

Air Quality and Public Health


High summer ozone and COVID-19: A dangerous combination

June 1 marked the official start to high ozone season. Boulder County Public Health has been keeping a running tally of Ozone action day alerts on social media; the Denver-Boulder metro area has already seen over 25 action day alerts this summer.

Ozone action day alerts mean that hot and sunny conditions will lead to ozone concentrations reaching levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups, including anyone with a respiratory condition such as asthma. Increased ozone levels are especially concerning right now while we are fighting the COVID-19 respiratory virus.

Anyone concerned about the impacts of ozone pollution on health or the climate can make their voices heard at an upcoming virtual Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Roadmap conversation via Zoom. See below for details.

Colorado is building a roadmap for climate action

Want to be a part of climate action and climate equity efforts in Colorado?

Please join us for a conversation about the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Roadmap on August 12, 2020 from 6pm to 8:30pm MT via Zoom. State staff will give an overview of the roadmap and state climate equity work with time dedicated to listening to your questions and input. Registration is required and Spanish interpretation is available upon request.


The state especially wants to hear from members of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change including people of color, underrepresented groups and members of economically challenged communities to help ensure equitable representation in this endeavor.

A limited number of slots for public comment will be available. If you wish to provide a 2-minute public comment, please include this information within the registration form. We'll close public comment registration once we reach the maximum number that time will allow.

We encourage attendees to submit questions to the state team in advance via the registration form or by sending them to

Written comments are always welcome via email to and the Colorado Energy Office website.

En español.

Meet the Team


Dave Hatchimonji, Residential Energy Efficiency Program Manager

What do you do at OSCAR? Oversee the county’s residential energy efficiency and renewable energy program, EnergySmart.

Hometown? Originally, I’m a California boy (raised in La Palma). I moved east to Colorado at 19 for “just one ski season.”

Hobbies? Pretty typical. Ski, climb, fly fish, trail run with the dog. Overseas travel on bikes when times were different.

Favorite movie? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid — Newman and Redford; a classic!

What are you reading right now? A compilation of short stories and excerpts by Hemingway on fishing.

Favorite musician? Emmy Lou Harris, although I can probably sing off-key to most every John Prine song.

Events Calendar

Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Roadmap

Zoom Conversation

August 12, 2020

6:00 - 8:30 PM

Register here

COVID-19, Ventilation, & Energy Efficiency for Building Owners & Managers


August 27, 2020

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Register here