Colorado Governor signs executive order on environmental actions

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September 15, 2023 – On Wednesday, Governor Polis signed an Executive OrderOpens in a new tab. focusing on the enhancement of air quality and advancement of water conservation in state facilities. This move further cements the Polis administration’s commitment to environmental conservation, following the success of their earlier green initiatives.

Targeting Lawn Equipment Emissions.

Governor Polis has tasked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment along with the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) to transition away from gas-powered lawn and garden tools in state facilities situated in the ozone nonattainment region. The transition aims to bolster air quality and slash greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Governor’s press release, electric yard devices offer quieter operation and are more economical in the long run.

Water-wise Landscaping Initiatives.

Governor Polis also directed the DPA, in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to adopt water-efficient landscaping for all new and refurbished state facilities. This move is anticipated to significantly reduce water consumption, favoring the environment with the inclusion of drought-resistant and native flora.

“I always want to ensure that our state government is leading by example… We are doing our part to save people money, protect water and our planet,” said Polis.

Support from the Legislature.

Representative Cathy Kipp (D-Fort Collins) commented, “I am pleased to see Colorado leading by example…” Similarly, State Senator Faith Winter (D-Broomfield) emphasized the state’s dedication to the climate emergency and praised the recent measures.

Previous Environmental Actions.

During his first year, Governor Polis was proactive in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by enhancing the energy efficiency of government operations. In 2019, he championed the directive for state agencies to focus on the state’s environmental footprint through increased renewable energy adoption, reduced emissions, and assessment of underused leased spaces. 2022 saw another Executive Order which expanded on these measures.

The current year has seen Governor Polis endorsing significant climate change legislation, aiming for Colorado to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040. Additionally, a tax credit on electric lawn equipment purchases and the installation of electric vehicle charging points in state parks have been initiated under his administration.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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