PUT A CAP ON OZONE - A Way to Help Us All Breathe Easier

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2015 Put a Cap on Ozone program runs from

June to August 2015

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The Front Range’s recent string of Action Days for Ozone pollution are a reminder of the importance of reducing emissions from motor vehicles. This summer, Denver-metropolitan and North Front Range area motorists whose vehicles are found to have faulty or missing gas caps during an emissions inspection are receiving coupons good toward the purchase of new caps at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. 

The Problem

Ozone pollution occurs primarily in the hot summer months when emissions from a variety of sources, including industry, automobiles and smaller, gas-powered engines, chemically react in the presence of sunshine to form a harmful ground-level pollutant. Not to be confused with upper atmosphere ozone which provides protection from ultra-violet rays, ground-level ozone is harmful to the health of all humans, particularly the elderly, the very young and those with respiratory disease.

A Solution

Because ground-level ozone pollution is generated by so many different sources, there is no single solution to its prevention. However, it has been determined that one, relatively simple action can have an immediate and significant impact.  Studies show that the reduction of emissions from faulty or missing automobile gas caps can bring about a meaningful reduction in the region’s ozone readings. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Regional Air Quality Council, Envirotest Corp. and NAPA Auto Parts have joined forces to implement a program that replaces faulty gas caps with new gas caps during the height of the summer months.

Coupons, for $10 toward the purchase of a new gas cap at any participating NAPA store, will be given after a vehicle fails the gas cap portion of the emissions inspection at an Air Care Colorado station; the average retail price of a new gas cap is $10 – more for specialty caps. There are more than 30 participating NAPA stores along the Front Range, with at least one shop nearby each Air Care emissions inspection station.


The Savings

In a typical month, more than 2,500 vehicles fail the gas cap portion of their emissions inspection at Air Care Colorado stations. The “Put a Cap on Ozone” program aims to aid in replacing up to 5,000 gas caps by August 31, which could amount to savings of up to:

  • 1.25 tons per day of volatile organic compounds (VOC) – a type of pollution that can contribute to ground-level ozone formation
  • 22,000 gallons of gasoline lost due to evaporation during hot summer months
  • $57,000.00 - the cost of 22,000 gallons of evaporated gasoline


The Details

  • Between now and August 31 the driver of any vehicle that fails the Colorado emissions test due to a faulty or missing gas cap will be provided with a coupon redeemable for a new gas cap at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.
  • Gas cap coupons will be provided at the 18 Air Care Colorado Testing Stations in the metro Denver and North Front Range areas.
  • Following gas cap replacement, vehicles will be required to repeat the emissions testing procedure.


For more information on the gas cap program, call the Air Care Colorado Hotline at 303-456-7090 or visit www.aircarecolorado.com.


For more information on solving the ozone problem, call the Regional Air Quality Council at 303-629-5450, or visit www.raqc.org.