[ View the story "Colorado mothers bring 'gas patch kids' to governor's office to protest air pollution" on Storify] Colorado mothers bring 'gas patch kids' to governor's office to protest air pollution "Colorado Moms Know Best" group delivers 8,000 signature petition to strengthen pending regulations for oil and gas companies on air pollution.
AJAMStream· Thu, Oct 31 2013 14:15:16
Gas patch kids, moms, press Hick for higher air quality regsAuNX-5zwwwf5kSzVX0RrLw
@hickforco Sorry we missed you this morning! We delivered a petition signed by over 8,000 Colorado moms! #UpInTheAir http://twitter.com/COMomsKnowBest/status/395682235921072128/photo/1CO Moms Know Best
Did you know, according to the American Lung Association, already 1 out of 10 children have asthma in Colorado? #UpInTheAirCO Moms Know Best
Colorado has been working on new air quality regulations for some time, as the state has seen
smog and ozone levels
rise since 2010. Colorado has also become a state with one of the
of asthma prevalence, with children aged one to fifteen accounting for a large portion of the cases.
Several areas in Colorado now
the federal ozone limit of 75 parts per billion. Colorado faces a race against the clock to improve its air quality, as ozone violations prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to set a 2015
for the state to meet federal air quality standards or face tough new regulations.
Most of the pending regulations will target Colorado's air and natural gas producers. The deterioration of air quality in the state has coincided with the
of the gas industry. Gas companies have expanded at a rate of about 3,200 new wells a year since 2007, drilling predominately in the Front Range region. Currently there are more than 51,000 wells across the state contributing emissions to Colorado's atmosphere, along with accompanying pipelines, processing, and storage facilities.
Coloradans got their
of the new regulations last week when a draft of the rules became public. The draft rules spurred a
from environmentalists and groups like "Colorado Mothers Know Best," who felt the regulations do not go far enough. Environmental groups are pushing drastic action,
that the ozone levels would have to be maintained at near-record lows in order to meet the EPA's 2015 deadline.
Below is a sample of some of the negative reactions to the draft regulations from Colorado environmental groups:
“There’s real urgency from an economic and health standpoint, and our economy and the environment are inextricably linked,” said Jeremy Nichols, with WildEarth Guardians. “If we don’t meet our cleanup deadlines, it will get painful. There seems to be this attitude that it’s OK to violate, to let things fester and get worse. That’s insane, In the end, it’ll be more expensive,”coloradoindependent.com
“The draft rule is a huge disappointment,” said Matt Sura, an attorney representing the group Weld Air and Water, who did speak on the record about the administration’s proposal. “I think that Gov. Hickenlooper believes that he has to appear to have done something. His administration has put forth a proposal that doesn’t do much of anything.”kdvr.com
Governor Hickenlooper sought to ameliorate concerns about the draft regulations by
residents that the rules are still being written and won't be finalized until February 2014. In the meantime, special interests on both sides of the issue are seeking changes to the regulations. Oil and gas producers say that proposed requirements on inspections and spill cleanup are
and are pushing for exemptions for smaller producers. Stakeholders pushing for tougher regulations on oil and gas emissions include Colorado
and the state's large
industry. Farmers have seen reduced crop yields from smog and brewers are concerned with water pollution and damage to the state's "environmental brand" that helps market their product.
"Colorado Moms Know Best" also intend to continue their push for tougher regulations. They announced a social media campaign involving the "gas patch kids" to raise awareness about the pending regulations.
Each Gas Patch Kid will start telling their own stories through social media to educate the public about the negative health effects of air pollution from oil and gas operations can have on child health.coloradomomsknowbest.com
What do you think about Colorado's proposed regulations on oil and gas companies? Leave a comment below.