Colorado Adopts Groundbreaking Methane Measurement Rule

EDF statement from Nini Gu, Regulatory and Legislative Manager

July 20, 2023
Jack Alber, (415) 530-7042,

(DENVER, CO) Today the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission unanimously adopted a new rule requiring direct measurement of methane emissions and demonstrating with real-world data that oil and gas operators are meeting emission reduction standards.  

The rule, which achieved consensus support from environmental advocates, local governments and industry, is a follow-up to the 2021 intensity standard adopted by the commission that required oil and gas operators to accurately account for their greenhouse gas emissions.  

“The Air Quality Control Commission has voted today to adopt the Air Pollution Control Division’s commonsense proposal to directly measure methane emissions in the field.” said Nini Gu, Regulatory and Legislative Manager, EDF. “While there is still important work ahead as the Division develops a scientifically robust program, this rule creates the necessary framework to evaluate whether the state is meeting its statutory methane targets and ensure that oil and gas operators comply with pollution reduction standards. Today’s vote shows Colorado’s continued leadership on oil and gas methane regulations, which is possible thanks to the Division’s commitment to bringing stakeholders to the table to find win-win solutions.”  

  • Nini Gu, [Regulatory and Legislative Manager, EDF] 


Colorado led the nation with the first oil and gas methane regulations established in 2014. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas over 80 times more powerful than CO2 in the near-term. Curbing this pollution from oil gas is the fastest, most cost-effective way to immediately slow the rate of warming as Colorado and other Mountain West states suffer from climate-fueled extreme weather events. 

The rule approved by the Commission today contains the following key points: 

  • Requires the quantity of methane emissions at production sites to be directly measured, and the measurement data must be publicly reported.
  • Empowers the Division with the authority and tools to ensure industry’s compliance.
  • Establishes a public process for the development and continuous evaluation of a robust companion protocol by the Division. This protocol, to be finalized later in the year, is critical to the success of the program. It will ensure that the rule is correctly implemented, which improves the state’s ability to create an accurate greenhouse gas inventory based on real-world data.  

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