Colorado is now the first state in the nation to regulate methane from the 50,000 oil and gas wells in the state. The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) passed the regulations on Sunday, February 23rd with an 8-1 vote.
Now that those regulations have passed, several of the Commissioners’ terms have expired and we need strong, clean air defenders to be appointed in their stead. If you know of qualified candidates, please have them submit their interest to CDPHE. See here for more information.
Thanks to all of you who came out, phoned in, or wrote in support of the new regulations. The public support was overwhelmingly in favor of these regulations. Despite the industry’s push to have less stringent regulations outside the Denver-metro non-attainment area, the AQCC passed blanket regulations for all of Colorado.
CEA’s Meredith Roberts explained the scope of the new regulations:
The rules are long and tedious, but can be understood to address two issues. First, they will require the oil and gas industry to use better technology – technology that the big three may already be using – to reduce VOC and methane emissions. Second, the rules require the industry to inspect their infrastructure and fix leaks when they are detected.
The Denver Post explains:
By passing rules aimed at reducing toxic emissions from oil and gas facilities, Colorado officials are trying to allow an energy boom while also protecting health and the environment. They needed to act because Front Range air already fails to meet federal health standards. The oil and gas industry is a growing source of volatile organic compounds that lead to the formation of ozone.