Colorado announced new standards for methane emissions from oil and gas drilling Monday, drawing fire from industry groups.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has generally resisted state-wide restrictions on the oil and gas industry.
The air quality rules, apparently the first such statewide rules in the United States, could be effective by February.
Industry sources said the emission standards should have been considered by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and not the Air Quality Control Commission.
“The new rules could include tighter emission controls on storage tanks and expanding pollution control requirements that apply in Front Range communities,” Bloomberg Businessweek said.
Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission will administer the new rules. It is part of the state health department.
The governor, a former geologist, generally supports the oil and gas industry. He turned back earlier proposals from some state lawmakers to increase inspections on drilling and production and put limits on fracking.
“Earlier this month, a group of concerned moms showed up at Hickenlooper’s office with dolls they called ‘gas patch kids’ to represent real children living in areas impacted by the surge of oil and gas drilling in the state,” Bloomberg Businessweek said.