The new measures were adopted to reduce the release of methane
during production and transport of natural gas, in a deal first
proposed last fall with energy producers Anadarko Petroleum, Noble
Energy, Encana Corp and the Environmental Defense Fund.
The regulations would require operators to perform frequent checks
for leaks using infrared cameras and other technologies.
"This is a huge breakthrough for cleaner air and a safer climate.
Getting to this point took serious resolve and a willingness to find
common ground," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental
Governor John Hickenlooper said in a statement that the regulations
are a result of "collaboration and compromise" among various
stakeholders, including citizen groups, government, and the energy
"The new rules approved by (the commission), after taking input from
varied and often conflicting interests, will ensure Colorado has the
cleanest and safest oil and gas industry in the country and help
preserve jobs," the governor said.
The Colorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry trade group, said
producers are committed to public health and safety.
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"The new rules accomplish much, which we support," said association
spokesman Doug Flanders. "Unfortunately, we were not successful in
ensuring that the rule accommodates the differences in basins and
Will Allison, director of the commission's air pollution control
division, said "several industry leaders" voluntarily implemented
the rules when they were proposed late last year.
"Now, these protective, common-sense measures will be required of
all operators across the state," he said.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)
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