New Air Quality Rules Tackle Pollution During Early Stages of Oil and Gas Operations

EDF Statement from Jon Goldstein, Director of Regulatory & Legislative Affairs, Energy

September 23, 2020
Matt McGee, (512) 691-3478,

(Denver, CO) Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) today unanimously adopted new rules to reduce harmful air and climate pollution from oil and gas operations across the state. Once in effect, the rules will require high-frequency monitoring for gas leaks starting when construction on a well begins and continuing through the first six months of production, a period of time not addressed by other monitoring standards.

The rules will also close emission loopholes in current federal standards by prohibiting natural gas venting during the early period of well completion. As other states seek to address pollution from the initial stages of oil and gas development, this move demonstrates the most comprehensive measures yet taken.

“In 2014, Colorado became the first state in the nation to tackle methane emissions during the production of oil and gas from wells across the state. Today, the AQCC continued that leadership by extending monitoring requirements to the pre-production phase and by prohibiting natural gas venting during completions when drilling activities can result in significant emissions of methane and other dangerous pollutants. These new rules mark continued progress in reducing the climate and health impacts of oil and gas operations in the state.” 

  • Jon Goldstein, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Energy

Additional Background:

Colorado has a duty under state statute to meet science-based climate pollution reduction requirements by delineated deadlines and to address adverse pollution impacts on disproportionately impacted communities.

Colorado has failed to carry out its mandatory legal duty to propose implementing regulations by July 1, 2020. EDF urges Colorado to immediately carry out these crucial and overdue responsibilities as required by law to protect the health, environment, economy and well-being of all Coloradans. 

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