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More than 100 Colorado business leaders are calling for increased pollution restrictions at two Utah power plants, joining thousands of others who've answered the Environmental Protection Agency's unusual request for public input on Utah's Regional Haze Plan.

In a letter dated Monday, the coalition — which included small local businesses and national outdoors and sporting brands — asked EPA Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath to protect Colorado's $13.2 billion recreation and tourism industry by decreasing haze-generating emissions in Utah.

According to an EPA report on Utah's Regional Haze Plan, emissions from eastern Utah's Hunter and Huntington coal-fired power plants impact air quality in nine Class I areas — including two national parks in Colorado.

Connie Sciolino, a small business owner in Boulder, said she decided to add her name to the petition because she believes better air quality would bring more customers to her outdoors-oriented gym.

"When we had the fires in Boulder and the air quality was definitely decreased, we had fewer athletes come train," she said. "They're worried about their health. Any kind of compromised air quality is going to do the same thing."

Leaders of Utah's outdoor recreation industry has also weighed in on the issue with a similar petition, which, like Colorado's, was headed by industry environmental group Protect Our Winters. Earlier in the public comment period — which closed Monday at 5 p.m. — hundreds of individual Utahns flocked to a meeting with EPA representatives to make their voices heard or deliver hand-written feedback. And an initiative to generate support from private individuals collected more than 55,000 comments in favor of the EPA's plan for additional pollution controls.

The EPA kicked off the public comment period in December, when it took the unusual step of issuing two proposals for addressing Utah's Regional Haze Plan and asking the public to decide which was best. One proposal would have the EPA reject part of Utah's plan and replace it with its own plan to require the Hunter and Huntington plants to install additional pollution control technology; the other would accept Utah's plan, which does not require the installation of these technologies, in its entirety.

The request for comment came on the heels of a lawsuit intended to force the EPA to act on Utah's Regional Haze Plan. The EPA was originally required to decide whether to accept or reject Utah's plan in 2014; under the terms of a legal settlement, the agency now has until June 1 of this year to make a final decision.

WildEarth Guardians called the double proposal "bizarre and disappointing."

EPA spokesman Rich Mylott said while the move was a deviation from the norm, it was not unprecedented.

Twitter: @EmaPen