DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Public Interest Research Group announced a new campaign on Wednesday called #CleanAirColorado to spread awareness about a new petition to encourage alternative transportation options. The public is encouraged to share their experiences on social media as the Denver metro area experiences a new record of ozone alert days this summer.

“We need to act now because we can’t afford another summer like we had this summer,” said Danny Katz, Executive Director of CoPIRG.

Combination of smoke from the Pine Gulch fire and summer ozone is creating bad visibility in metro Denver on Aug. 9, 2021. (source: CBS)

Katz said at an event overlooking the Denver skyline and Interstate 25 that the deadline set by the Environmental Protection Agency to improve ozone and air pollution standards has been missed repeatedly for more than a decade. As he spoke on the issue, visibility was low and smoke was in the air. He said the heavy traffic on the highway served as a reminder of the role that gas emissions play in this problem.

“We have about nine months before we head into the next round of ozone season and we need to make sure we’re taking actions right now to people those travel options,” he said.

Some of the solutions he wants to see include more frequent public transportation. He says more people need access to the bus, departing every 15 minutes or less. More electric car share options and E-bikes as well as scooters should be used too.

MORE NEWS: Clean Air Colorado Initiative

Katz says if these alternatives are in place, it will help commuters change their ways on future ozone alert days. An unprecedented response by local, state, and federal agencies is necessary, according to CoPIRG. He wants to see bus passes mailed to residents across the metro area and improvements in broadband so more people can work from home as well.