Last week, mamas with Colorado Moms Know Best and their kids went on an adventure to the Denver Children’s Museum for Children’s Hospital’s “Healthy Kids-Mountain Air” event. It was a fun way to connect the need for clean air with kids’ health and the joys of kids playing in Colorado’s great outdoors – one of our most basic values. As you know, CMKB exists to ask Colorado’s elected officials to keep our kids healthy and work for their bright future by protecting our air, land and water – and we can’t keep Colorado healthy without their leadership and support.
This past weekend the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) passed the strong air quality standards Governor Hickenlooper proposed without any weakening amendments. It’s a huge victory for clean air and the health or our kids! There’s no denying that the phone calls, emails and testimony from moms supporting these rules played a big role, not only in getting this approved but also in preventing the oil & gas industry’s many attempts to weaken it. Just goes to show when Colorado moms work together we can enact real change for Colorado families!
I wanted to share with you an excerpt of my remarks at the AQCC hearing last week about the importance of enacting strong air quality rules:
Colorado Moms Know Best Send Valentine Singing Telegram to Governor
After meetings at the capitol, running some ads with health professionals and even getting a guest editorial printed in the Denver Post; Governor Hickenlooper proposed the strongest air quality standards for oil & gas emissions in the country! (more…)
* 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
It was a packed house this morning at the Air Quality Control Commission’s (AQCC) final monthly meeting prior to releasing its highly anticipated air quality regulations. Already 1 out of every 10 kids in Colorado have asthma and a report released today by the World Health Organization named air pollution as “a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths” so it’s imperative that the AQCC set high air quality standards so the air our families breathe won’t make them sick.
We at Colorado Moms Know Best (CMKB) were very proud of our very own Andrea Roy who spoke eloquently about the need for the Commission and the Governor to reinforce the public’s faith that the state values and protects the health of all Coloradoans by enacting common-sense standards.
— ConservationColorado (@ConservationCO) October 17, 2013
Along with CMKB, representatives from a number of different organizations, as well as everyday citizens, spoke about the need for the commission to enact strong air-quality standards. The speakers included a doctor from National Jewish Hospital in Denver who spoke of the vast negative health effects of oil and gas emissions; a pastor who spoke on behalf of his many parishioners asking the AQCC to protect our State’s water and air, and several moms who spoke passionately on behalf of protecting the health of Colorado’s children. It was clear from the diversity of speakers that Coloradoans are serious about wanting their government to protect the health of its citizens as well as the beauty of our state.
We at CMKB are hopeful that the AQCC will indeed protect the health of our children and families by standing strong and creating air quality standards which dramatically reduce lung-damaging ozone pollution and dangerous climate change emissions coming from oil and gas operations. This is a critical time, the AQCC is expected to release its draft rules prior to its next meeting in late November, so if you’re concerned about the effect of these emissions on your family’s health please join the 8,000 plus moms who have already signed our letter to Governor Hickenlooper.
- Detect and repair drilling leaks
- Stop natural gas venting
- Use capture technologies on storage tanks
- Disclose chemical emissions
I am happy to report that our postponed meeting (due to the tragic flooding) has been rescheduled and we will be meeting with the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment along with the Director of the Governor’s Policy office and the Director of Environmental Programs this coming Tuesday. As I mentioned in a previous post, we will take this opportunity to learn more about the current state of decision-making and to underscore the importance of Colorado’s leaders doing everything they can to reduce smog inducing air emissions from oil and gas operations in order to safeguard our family’s health. This is a great first step for CMKB, however, we are adamant that we want to hear directly from the Governor regarding his commitment to, and support for, our kid’s and communities’ health.
In other news, the Governor’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) is once again set to hold public meetings relating to their on-going efforts to formulate new air quality standards concerning Oil and Gas operations in Colorado.
The meeting is set for October 17th from 9-11am in Denver and CMKB will be there to lend voice to the thousands of moms who want common-sense standards in place to protect our kids and our state. If you are interested in coming, shoot me an email!
Finally the Denver Post recently wrote an editorial about the AQCC that said in no uncertain terms, “the air-quality rules need to be strict”: http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_24142690/colorado-has-opportunity-air-quality-rules
Over the last week, we have all been witness to the tragic floods that have befallen our state — many of our homes, businesses, schools — our livelihoods, have been severely damaged or destroyed. But, it’s not just our homes and farms and schools that have been affected, it’s also the oil and gas operations next door to them; as has been chronicled in the news, many pipes and storage tanks have been left submerged, broken, leaking. These tanks and pipelines are now leaking potentially dangerous fluids into our waters and air.
This disaster has only served to amplify the myriad of issues surrounding the maintenance and regulation of oil and gas wells in Colorado. The damage is still being assessed, but, wells have now been confirmed to be leaking into our rivers. In the end this affects not only our water, but also our air quality with wells being damaged and venting VOC’s – low level ozone – air pollution into our air.
The State is now tracking 10 spills and releases, 2 of them large: http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_24132296/oil-spill-along-st-vrain-river-near-platteville.
This disaster affects us all, to help please visit: HelpColoradoNow.org.