Colorado has officially established the first direct statewide control of methane emissions in the nation. The new rules are supported by Gov. John Hickenlooper, four of the state’s biggest energy companies, and several environmental groups.
Hickenlooper said the new rules “will ensure Colorado has the cleanest and safest oil and gas industry in the country and help preserve jobs… All Coloradans deserve a healthy economy and a healthy environment, and we’re working to ensure that Colorado continues to have both.”
Colorado’s new rules are unique in several ways because they:
- Target methane leaks in addition to VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), a first for air quality in the nation.
- Require routine checks for leaks and malfunctioning equipment and repairs.
- Cover the entire state.
- Include the entire natural gas chain: the well site, storage tanks, gathering lines, compression stations and processing plants.
Altogether, methane leaks are expected to be cut by about 65,000 tons per year, with the methane – a strong greenhouse gas – captured and redirected into pipelines bound for markets. As Colorado has seen an explosion of oil and gas drilling, these new protections will go a long way toward reducing pollution.