Pawnee National Grassland
Colorado’s air quality has been in “Non-Attainment” for the last 12 years for failing to meet federal ozone standards. The EPA is set to downgrade Colorado’s Front Range to “serious,” which means that that more work must be done to ensure Denver Metro Area’s air is safe to breathe and that larger oil and gas facilities will be required to obtain federal air permits. Northeastern Colorado (Larimer and Weld County) is home to over 43,000 oil and gas wells; and the BLM projects another 21,220 wells would be within the 8-hour ozone non-attainment area over the next 20 years.
In August, the Trump administration proposed to eliminate direct regulation of methane from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, despite the fact that XTO/ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Equinor, and Pioneer oppose the rollback. And last year, the BLM gutted federal safeguards to curb methane waste and pollution on public lands. Then in June of this year, the BLM proposed a management plan for Eastern Colorado that fails to address climate and air pollution.
Citizen groups are asking the state, the EPA and BLM for stronger rules on methane that would reduce pollution and lost tax revenue through venting, flaring and leaking methane.