Your words to the state agency can make a difference!

Contact the Air Quality Control Commission and Governor Hickenlooper voicing the need for regulation that protects clean air!

February 19th, the Air Quality Control Commission will take public comment, both written and oral, regarding new regulations that will protect clean air. The proposed rules would reduce smog-causing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by roughly 92,000 tons/year. They should also save the oil and gas industry money by the capture and use of a sellable product. This is good news for all of Colorado, and especially here on the Western Slope, where pristine mountain vistas, abundant outdoor recreation activities, public health, and wildlife depend upon clean air.

World class mountain vistas and breathtaking views are important draws for tourists – lifeblood for much of our economy. These draft rules will protect our economy and public health. They are a great first step, although more needs to be done to properly protect clear skies, clean air, and public health. Let’s make sure that these rules are not watered down!

It’s not just Colorado residents and environmentalists that support the proposed rules. Three of the biggest companies in the industry here in Colorado support the rules: Anadarko Petroleum, Encana USA, and Noble Energy, because fixing leaky equipment will save money and fewer leaks means more gas can be sold to consumers. Yet, a coalition of industry trade groups and five Western Slope counties (Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, and Montezuma) are working to stop new rules. Western Slope voices are needed to ensure our clean air is properly protected and that these new rules are state wide!

Here are some talking points for you to make asking for proper protection for our air and health:

  • Public Health Impacts
    • Oil & gas production is the #1 source of VOCs, which produce ozone. At the ground level, ozone is smog, which disproportionately affects children, elderly, and those who are already sick. Ozone can also cause respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Prolonged exposure can even lead to death.
    • Symptoms reported by people living near oil & gas wells match those symptoms linked to air toxics found in oil & gas.
    • Many chemicals associated with oil & gas are known to be harmful to health and some have yet to be sufficiently studied.
    • A recent study demonstrates that pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing birth defects.
  • Air Quality Rules Make Economic Sense
    • Higher levels of ozone can reduce crop quantity and quality. This means air impacts from oil & gas can hurt important agricultural economies of the Western Slope. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that “Ground-level ozone causes more damage to plants than all other air pollutants combined.” Most fruits and vegetables, including cherries and grapes, are more sensitive to yield loss caused by ozone.
    • Beautiful views and mountain vistas bring tourists to the Western Slope and are one of the reasons why we love it here. Polluted air is bad for residents and our economy.
    • Three of the largest oil & gas companies are already taking measures to reduce leaking equipment because it saves them money.
  • Climate Change
    • The proposed rules will reduce greenhouse gas pollution from oil & gas operators by tens of thousands of tons per year.
    • The proposed rules would make Colorado the leader among all states in directly regulating methane. Methane, which is raw, unprocessed natural gas, is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its contributing to global warming over a 20-year timeline.

Send letters to:
Colorado Air Quality Control Commission
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, EDO-AQCC-A5
Denver, Colorado 80246
Email submissions: cdphe.aqcc-comments@state.co.us
Please send comments before February 17th!

Attend in Person
PUBLIC HEARING FEBRUARY 19th
12:00 Noon – 7:00PM
Aurora Municipal Center – City Council Chambers
15151 East Alameda Parkway
Aurora, CO 80012