State officials are planning a public meeting in Grand Junction Sept. 10 to outline the Air Pollution Control Division's proposal to implement new oil and gas rules designed in part to address this year's passage of Senate Bill 181.

The meeting is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium, and will include an opportunity for public comments.

Senate Bill 181 made comprehensive changes to how oil and gas development is to be regulated in the state. Many of the changes will apply to how the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates the industry, and it has begun working through about a dozen anticipated rulemakings to address the new law. Some of the bill's requirements also will require new rules adopted by the Air Quality Control Commission.

According to a July 29 public presentation prepared by the Air Pollution Control Division, the law directs consideration of certain strategies such as inspection and maintenance requirements for transmission pipelines and compressor stations, and continuous methane monitoring at large-emitting facilities, multiwell facilities and facilities near occupied dwellings.

Among the proposals by the division is to no longer let companies operate new oil and gas facilities up to 90 days before applying for an air-quality permit.

Also, controls on storage tanks holding oil, condensates and produced water would be made more stringent statewide.

And companies would have to provide a comprehensive annual emission report for their oil and gas facilities in the state.

The division plans to ask the Air Quality Control Commission to schedule a hearing in December to revise some regulations, but says that would be only the first step of many to come to implement Senate Bill 181 and other legislation passed this year.

It says future rulemakings focused on regional haze and ozone could touch on oil and gas operations.

Future regulatory requirements under consideration include enhanced controls near homes and businesses, reductions in gas flaring, and the use of tankless production.

The public can sign up to receive email notices about the division's regulatory efforts by visiting www.Colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/air-mailing-lists.

According to the division's July presentation, oil and gas sites were considered insignificant air pollution emitters prior to the early 2000s in Colorado, but analysis has shown that storage tanks were the largest source of volatile organic compounds in the state. The division's first statewide oil and gas regulations were adopted in 2006.

In 2014, Colorado became the first state in the nation to adopt rules to limit methane emissions from the industry.

Recommended for you