Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Demand better air quality rules to protect kids’ health

Colorado Moms Meet with CDPHE About Air Pollution and Kids’ Health 

DENVER – Today four moms from the grassroots network Colorado Moms Know Best met with Ill Allison, director of the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Karin McGowan, CDPHE community relations director and Doug Young, senior policy director for the Governor’s office to discuss their concerns about air pollution and kids’ health.  Determined to influence the upcoming Air Quality Control Commission’s upcoming rulemaking on air emissions, the moms have collected more than 8,000 signatures on a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper calling for common sense yet innovative standards to control oil and gas emissions.  

“Exposure to ozone and other emissions from oil and gas operations can harm kids’ health for a lifetime,” said Jaime Travis, Colorado Moms Know Best Head Mom.  “We are optimistic that the Governor and the state health department seem inclined to support better air quality standards for detecting and repairing leaks and natural gas venting.”

The moms are advocating for air quality rules that require the oil and gas industry to:
  • Detect and repair drilling leaks
  • Stop natural gas venting
  • Use capture technologies on storage tanks
  • Disclose chemical emissions
“My kids should be able to go to school and play on the playground without me worrying about the air they’re breathing,” said Andrea Roy, Erie mom and supporter of the Colorado Moms Know Best network. “We hope that common sense rules on storage tank capture technologies and disclosure of chemical emissions will be included in the standards, as well.”   

Regulators in Colorado have identified the oil and gas industry as the biggest source of volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions and methane in the state. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is one of the main greenhouse gases contributing to climate change and VOCs are one of the major contributors to ozone pollution.

Oil and gas development is growing in Colorado  – since 2000, statewide drilling for oil and gas has more than doubled and drilling has nearly tripled in the Front Range. With that development there has been an increase in smog inducing air pollution around oil and gas sites now moving in residential areas.  These noxious emissions can worsen and even cause asthma, gastrointestinal problems, constant bloody noses and other illnesses.  Already one out of 10 children have asthma in Colorado, an even higher rate than in adults because their lungs are still developing. 


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