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Colorado Governor Jared Polis is pictured while testifying on the impact of climate change in Colorado during the first U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at CU Boulder on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Boulder. The hearing was titled "Colorado's Roadmap for Clean Energy Action: Lessons from State and Local Leaders" and was held at CU Boulder's Wittemyer Courtroom.

Gov. Jared Polis is using the dog days of August to get busy governing with executive orders, issuing a proclamation on air quality Thursday afternoon.

RELATED: Polis signs executive order to protect wildlife

The second directive in as many days told the Regional Air Quality Council to:

  • act "boldly and cost-effectively," as well as expeditiously, to regulate air quality with health-based standards in mind for the Denver metro and northern Front Range regions.
  • seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to "mitigate the significant public health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change."
  • prioritize strategies to mitigate climate change, improve energy efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and cut air pollution.

Read the full order by clicking here.

The 24-member Regional Air Quality Council was created in 1989 to be the lead agency to help the nine-county region attain federal environment standards. Each governor can leave his imprint on the agency by way of executive order.

Polis updated the executive order issued by then-Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2013.

“This executive order highlights ozone pollution as the most pressing and immediate air quality issue we face — especially for children, seniors and other vulnerable populations — and directs the RAQC to come into compliance with health-based standards as soon as possible,” Polis said in a statement Thursday.

“Today’s action marks an important piece of our administration’s broader efforts to protect the qualities that make Colorado such a special place to call home.”

On Wednesday the first-year governor issued an executive order to improve the state's handling of wildlife migration.

In June, about six weeks after protesters convinced lawmakers to abandon a new statewide form on vaccination exemptions, Polis did the job with executive order.

Soon after he took office in January, Polis issued an executive order to boost electric vehicles, and last week the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission took a big step in that direction by setting standards for auto dealers to designate a portion of their inventory for zero-emissions vehicles.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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