The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted last week to increase testing for methane emissions from oil and gas development.
The new rules apply only in areas that are now out of compliance with EPA standards for air pollution. This includes nine counties across the Front Range where there is a heavy concentration of oil and gas wells alongside urban development.
Under the new rules, the smallest well pads in this area will be tested for methane annually. Previously, emissions on those well pads were only tested once.
The state’s Air Quality Control staff are looking into expanding this program to drilling operations across Colorado. That will be a two-year process.