Colorado approves limits on air pollution from oil, gas drilling

DENVER Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:15am EST

An oil derrick can be seen in a field near Denver, Colorado May 16, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

An oil derrick can be seen in a field near Denver, Colorado May 16, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Related Topics

DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado health and environment officials on Sunday approved new rules to limit air pollution from oil and gas drilling in the state, including what regulators said is the nation's first-ever plan to detect and reduce methane emissions.

The new measures were adopted to reduce the release of methane during production and transport of natural gas, in a deal first proposed last fall with energy producers Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, Encana Corp and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The regulations would require operators to perform frequent checks for leaks using infrared cameras and other technologies.

"This is a huge breakthrough for cleaner air and a safer climate. Getting to this point took serious resolve and a willingness to find common ground," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Governor John Hickenlooper said in a statement that the regulations are a result of "collaboration and compromise" among various stakeholders, including citizen groups, government, and the energy industry.

"The new rules approved by (the commission), after taking input from varied and often conflicting interests, will ensure Colorado has the cleanest and safest oil and gas industry in the country and help preserve jobs," the governor said.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry trade group, said producers are committed to public health and safety.

"The new rules accomplish much, which we support," said association spokesman Doug Flanders. "Unfortunately, we were not successful in ensuring that the rule accommodates the differences in basins and operators."

Will Allison, director of the commission's air pollution control division, said "several industry leaders" voluntarily implemented the rules when they were proposed late last year.

"Now, these protective, common-sense measures will be required of all operators across the state," he said.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
BaiJiuUSA wrote:
Big2tex—you are talking about the state that is the most well educated in the entire country. shut up! it seems like both sides are happy to reach an agreement here.

Feb 24, 2014 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:
Seems all you’re after’s feathering your own nest at other’s expense.
Compared to your pathetic Texas, Colorado is ‘heaven on earth’, and they intend on keeping it that way regardless of the illegal Texans.
“Waller in poverty”; a far better fate than “wallowing in ignorance”.
Your position of ‘wait ’till it kills you’ before acting, indicates a warped, childish thinking of red-necks from the depths of despair.

Feb 24, 2014 12:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:
BigTex, I’ve lived in Texas, Florida, and Colorado. The air in Florida smells like pot smoke, the air in Texas smells like burning plastic, and the air in Colorado smells good. People visit Colorado and Florida to spend money, and contribute to the tourist industry. Those operators have a right to stay in business too. But you never know, maybe people will start vacationing in Galveston for the dirty brown water the stank assed air.

Feb 24, 2014 5:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.