News & Publications

Colorado Adopts Air Quality Monitoring Requirements for the Oil and Gas Industry

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) adopted a series of cutting-edge rules that will further reduce pollution from oil and gas operations in Colorado.  Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell represented two clients—Environmental Defense Fund and Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA)—in this rulemaking.  These rules include first-in-the-nation regulations to require monitoring of emissions from the pre-production and initial phases of production, including emissions of air toxics, methane, and ozone precursors.  Under the rules, oil and gas operators will be required to conduct high-frequency monitoring from the start of well drilling until six months after the start of production.  The Commission also adopted a proposal, put forward by firm client CC4CA and other local governments to significantly increase local government involvement in the state’s oil and gas monitoring program.

The Commission also adopted first-in-the-nation requirements that prohibit venting during early stages of well development as well other controls such as requirements to control emissions from natural gas-fired reciprocating internal combustion engines, and controls for class II disposal well facilities.  These regulations are important strides in continuing to reduce pollution caused by oil and gas production.

Firm attorneys have been at the forefront of each of the precedent-setting oil and gas rulemakings before the AQCC over the past decade, including among others, the first statewide rules to address methane pollution from oil and gas facilities, the first state regulations that establish a program for intensity-based targets for the transmission sector, and now the first regulations in the country to require high-frequency monitoring for gas leaks during the preproduction and early production period.

For press coverage regarding these rules, please see the links below: