Moms Clean Air Force Applauds Colorado for Adopting Stronger Oil and Gas Air Pollution Rules to Protect Families’ Health and the Climate
Denver, CO (December 19, 2019) – Today the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted to adopt a proposed set of rules that will strengthen requirements to reduce methane and ground-level ozone pollution from oil and gas operations across the state.
The newly adopted proposal calls for stronger air pollution standards, including statewide requirements that oil and gas operators of low-producing wells inspect sites twice per year to find and fix leaks in a timely manner, as well as air pollution control requirements for storage tanks. In addition, Colorado will develop the state’s first-ever comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory, requiring oil and gas operators to report methane pollution coming from all their facilities and activities.
At a time when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to roll back federal methane rules, it is crucial that Colorado continues to be a leader in protecting families from oil and gas pollution. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is responsible for about 25 percent of the global warming we are experiencing today.
After today’s AQCC vote, the Colorado chapter of Moms Clean Air Force issued the following statements:
“As a mother living with oil and gas operations in my community, I am deeply concerned about the air pollution that puts my children’s health and safety at risk,” said Laurie Anderson, Colorado field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force who lives in Broomfield County. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s study made it clear that those living closest to oil and gas wells are at higher risk of health impacts. Moms applaud the Air Quality Control Commission for adopting stronger oil and gas air pollution protections to help reduce air and climate pollution in order to better protect families and communities.”
Though progress has been made in cutting the amount of methane and ozone-forming air pollutants emitted by the oil and gas industry, the EPA recently downgraded parts of Colorado’s Front Range from “moderate” to “severe” air quality nonattainment for ground-level ozone, or smog. Smog triggers asthma attacks and interferes with normal lung development in children. Colorado’s newly adopted oil and gas air pollution rules will help clean up the air for the more than 500,000 children and adults who have asthma in the state.
“Last summer, there were multiple Ozone Alert days on the Front Range, when sensitive groups such as children and those with asthma were warned to stay inside,” said Shaina Oliver, who is a Moms Clean Air Force field organizer living with her four children in Denver. Oliver is a Native American member of the Navajo nation. “I sometimes struggle to catch my breath as my asthma flares up during poor air quality days and fear that my youngest child may have asthma that has not yet been diagnosed. On days with poor air quality, I keep my children indoors to protect their little lungs. I am thankful that the Air Quality Control Commission is taking positive steps to help clean up methane pollution contributing to smog and climate change,” said Oliver.
Moms Clean Air Force’s over 43,000 members in Colorado support the AQCC for adopting more protective oil and gas air pollution standards that are essential to fighting climate change—and safeguarding the health and future of our children.
For more information about how Colorado is impacted by oil and gas pollution, please read “Climate Change Threatens Colorado.” For more information on how Moms Clean Air Force in Colorado is fighting methane and climate change, visit the Colorado chapter website.
About Moms Clean Air Force: Moms Clean Air Force is a community of over one million moms—and dads—working together to fight air pollution, including the urgent crisis of our changing climate. For more information, go to http://www.momscleanairforce.org/or follow us on Twitter @CleanAirMoms, Instagram @cleanairmoms, or Facebook.