Attend the SHER Meeting
WHERE: Durango Public Library
WHAT: Please attend and comment at the SHER meeting about new regulations to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas facilities. Registration link: https://goo.gl/forms/
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: From Gwen Lachalt: Background:
The SHER task force is a stakeholder group appointed by the Air Quality Control Commission to inform new regulations to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas facilities. The task force is expected to make recommendations by January 2020. The group convened after the AQCC strengthened emissions standards for nine counties on the Front Range that received nonattainment status for ozone pollution under the federal Clean Air Act. AQCC appointed the task force to make recommendations on reducing hydrocarbon emissions statewide. The AQCC is an appointed board within the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment that sets air quality regulations.
What is at stake?
- Fairness: All Coloradans deserve to benefit from strong protections and no community should be left behind. Air quality rules should apply statewide to provide all residents the protections they deserve, not just those living on the Front Range. This includes not only the rules already adopted for the Front Range area, but also any new rules that are developed as part of the current stakeholder process.
- Improvements in drilling technology have brought extraction closer and closer to our homes, schools and playgrounds. If industry is going to be allowed so close to homes, the best available technologies to control air pollution and increased inspections must be used to protect people’s health and homes.Protecting communities:
- In Western Colorado, specifically in communities like Battlement Mesa and Rangely, we are seeing oil and gas wells placed right next to homes.
- A recent study from the Colorado School of Public health shows people living within 500 feet of an oil and gas facility have a higher risk of cancer. A current proposal in Battlement Mesa is 500 feet away from seven homes and only 1,000 feet from entire neighborhoods.
- New technologies are constantly being developed and they should be employed throughout the state. In fact, many of these technologies, such as remote sensing, help to reduce costs for more remote areas such as those that may exist on the Western Slope.
- We all deserve to breathe clean air, but wind and airflow patterns know no boundaries. By requiring stricter monitoring and repairs, lower emission levels can be achieved statewide and people throughout Colorado can breathe easier.We should all breathe easy:
- Oil and gas facilities emit dangerous toxic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde. We should not be unnecessarily breathing in known carcinogens.
- Oil and gas operations also cause ozone pollution, which can trigger asthma attacks and worsen emphysema, especially in the elderly and children.
- The Front Range achieved non-attainment status under previous rules, and certain areas on the Western Slope have come close. It doesn’t make sense to wait for nonattainment status here on Western Slope before we act. As leaders in our communities, we should act now to put rules in place that ensure we improve air quality monitoring before we have a problem. By acting now, we can help solve air pollution problems before they occur. Are we really going to wait until we have a problem?·
- Colorado has been a leader in creating and adopting protections to address ozone and methane pollution, and companies have adapted by using new equipment to find and fix leaks on a regular schedule on all their wells.There are cost-effective solutions: ·
- Innovative technologies that measure pressure and temperature at a well-site can use the power of the sun to monitor equipment functionality. It’s time to stop relying on antiquated technologies that leak natural gas and require more frequent human management.
- Frequent leak detection can be done cost-effectively with proven technology, and also creates new jobs. New protections can be win-win for communities and industry.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Bring emissions control for oil and gas up to current technology
Call for Stronger Air Quality Rules for Oil and Gas Development in Colorado
By Erika Brown January 17, 2019 Climate Change, Oil & Gas