State health officials will write new rules to regulate oil and gas emissions “from cradle to grave” under a law revamping how the industry is regulated in Colorado.
Along with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state Air Quality Control Commission will develop rules to carry out Senate Bill 19-181, signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis on 16 April.
“It’s a pretty ambitious directive,” Garry Kaufman, director of the state Air Pollution Control Division, said of the bill. “We’ll really be looking very comprehensively at emissions from cradle to grave.”
In other words, from drilling, which the division doesn’t currently monitor, to transmission, or pipelines, through processing. State staffers will meet with interested parties and develop rules over the next year.
The state has tightened regulation of pollution from oil and gas sites through the years, but a nine-county area along the Front Range remains out of compliance with federal air-quality standards.
Oil and gas production and vehicles are the major sources of pollutants that form ground-level ozone—smog. Oil and gas operations also emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
In 2014, Colorado became the first state in the nation to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas sites and 3 years later strengthened some of the rules.
Earlier this year, 27 county and municipal elected officials in western Colorado wrote to a state task force and asked that methane and ozone regulations be stepped up statewide. The task force will make recommendations to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission no later than January 2020.
The new law makes it clear that rules on oil and gas emissions will be strengthened overall, said Dan Grossman, the Environmental Defense Fund’s national director of state programs for oil and gas.
“The bill also adds certainty at the end of the day that there’s going to be a strengthening of the methane rules, which will be good news for everyone,” Grossman added.
The new law requires that oil and gas companies install continuous methane emissions monitors at multiwell sites, facilities with high emissions, and ones near occupied dwellings. State regulators will also look at bolstering requirements for detecting and repairing leaks in equipment and further reducing emissions from pneumatic devices used to keeping the gas moving.
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
3 - 4 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For a better understanding of geomechanical factors, attend this course
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Don't miss out!
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
This course will help you develop a better understanding of factors that could impact your daily economic decisions as well as establish a new set of applicable tools to use in your professional career.
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.