"DENVER — The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether Colorado’s regulation of air pollution from industrial facilities discriminates against Hispanic residents and other racial minorities, according to a letter released Wednesday.
That’s a level of scrutiny long sought by Lucy Molina whose daughter goes to school near Colorado’s only petroleum refinery. Three years ago Molina had just stepped outdoors when she noticed a coating of ash on her Nissan Altima that wiped off on her fingers. Then she received a message that her daughter’s school was locked down and panicked. She later learned the refinery had malfunctioned, spewing a clay-like material into the air. She’d heard of lockdowns for shootings, but never for pollution.
Since then she’s pushed for community air monitoring and stronger protections, but says it all feels too late. She’s lived here for 30 years, and her kids are already young adults."