Wed., Oct. 30, 2013
Contact: Jenny Davies-Schley, 720-296-9545
Colorado Moms Deliver Petitions to Gov. Demanding Better Air Quality Rules
Gas Patch Kids: “We’re counting on Gov. Hickenlooper to protect our health”
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DENVER – After waiting since June for a meeting with Gov. John Hickenlooper, three moms from the grassroots network Colorado Moms Know Best decided to just show up at his office to deliver a petition signed by more than 8,000 Colorado moms today; it calls for common sense yet innovative standards to control oil and gas emissions, which can harm kids’ health. The Air Quality Control Commission is expected to issue draft rules in early November – recommendations by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for more lenient rules allowing higher levels of air pollution were leaked yesterday.
“We were shocked and angry when learned that after almost a year of meetings, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recommending air pollution rules that are weaker instead of stronger,” said Jaime Travis, “head mom” of Colorado Moms Know Best. “The bottom line is that moms are counting on Gov. Hickenlooper to protect the health of our kids.”
Since the event was held during school hours, the moms brought 18 “Gas Patch Kids” – Cabbage Patch dolls to represent real kids living in areas impacted by oil and gas development. 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.
“It is 100 percent unacceptable to allow companies to spew even more pollutants into the air my kids breathe every time they play outside, right next to our backyard,” said Andrea Roy, Erie mom and supporter of the Colorado Moms Know Best network. “While I am furious that the rules seem to be getting weaker rather than stronger, I have hope that Gov. Hickenlooper will intervene since he said that not only does he want Colorado to be the healthiest state in the country, but that we should have a zero tolerance policy for methane emissions, as well.”
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. According to American Lung Association already one out of 10 children have asthma in Colorado, an even higher rate than in adults because their lungs are still developing.
The moms are advocating for air quality rules that require the oil and gas industry to:
* Stop natural gas venting (including methane)* Use capture technologies on storage tanks* Disclose chemical emissions* Use state of the art infrared cameras to detect leaks and repair drilling leaks quickly
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.