During the legislative off-season, the Government Affairs, Education, and Energy committee shifts focus to present on trending issues, including the Oil and Gas Industry. Scott Prestidge, director of communications and public affairs with the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, updated the committee on the current industry including employment, market conditions, history and legislation, and facts about the ozone.
Scott went into more detail about the Post-Firestone issued Notice to Operators (NTO) that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission now requires:
- Document the location of all flowlines within 1000 ft. of a building
- Pressure test all active flowlines within 1000 ft. of a building
- Properly abandon ALL unused flowlines statewide (cut off below grade and permanently seal)
He also covered the safety policy issues from the NTO including:
- Flowline Testing Requirements
- Mapping of Flowlines and Pipelines
- Emergency Response Training
- Methane Detectors
Scott concluded with discussing the Ozone and possible Air Rulemakings. The Clean Air Act requires geographic areas to attain/meet the (NAAQCs) National Ambient Air Quality Standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2008 the Ozone standard was 75 parts per billion (ppb). “In October 2015 the Obama administration set a new national standard for ozone of 70 ppb, down from 75 ppb.” (Friedman, 2017). Scott reported that this decision has been delayed.
“We (as in Colorado) are doing very well this summer on ozone. We have a few weeks to go, but currently it looks like we are in attainment on the 2008 standard. If we get a long hot streak, that could change,” said Scott.
NOTE: Immediately after the government affairs meeting, the Trump Administration reversed its delay of the 2015 standard. That standard will begin its official designation processes this October. As such, it is likely both 2008 and 2015 standards will be active for some time. Tradition dictates that when this happens the old standard is waived, allowing states to focus on the new standard.
Friedman, L. (2017). E.P.A. Reverses Course on Ozone Rule. The New York Time. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/climate/epa-reverses-course-on-ozone-rule.html?emc=eta1