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

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MEDIA RELEASE
Tues., Oct. 8, 2013 
Contact:  Jenny Davies-Schley, 720-296-9545
 
Colorado Moms Meet with CDPHE About Air Pollution and Kids’ Health 
Demand better air quality rules to protect kids’ health
 
DENVER – Today three moms from the grassroots network Colorado Moms Know Best met with Will 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. 
 
Colorado Moms Know Best is a casual network of moms and friends that are looking out for our children’s health and wellbeing by protecting Colorado’s outdoors and quality of life.
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Update: CMKB Meeting with the Executive Director of the CDPHE

Jamie's HeadshotI 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

Best-
Jaime Travis

The State of Oil & Gas Wells Post Flooding

state-flag-of-colorado_w725_h483.jpg.w180h120Over 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.

CMKB Invited to Meet with the Executive Director of the CDPHE

Jamie's HeadshotHi All:

Wanted to share an update with you regarding our on-going efforts to schedule a meeting with the Governor to chat about our concerns and present him with our action letter.  While we are still pushing for this meeting, we are happy to say we have been invited to meet 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.  We will take this opportunity to learn more about the current state of decision-making and to underscore our mission that Colorado’s leaders are 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.

Best-
Jaime Travis
~ Head Mom of Colorado Moms Knows Best

Andrea R., Mom of Two, Boulder County

Andrea

Meet Andrea R., Mother of 2, living in Boulder County:

When I first moved to Erie I had no idea that I was moving to the middle of an oil field.  I saw the condensate tanks and I really had no idea that they were related to oil and gas development. That is until I received an email from my neighbor about fracking site about 600 yards from my children’s’ school.  I had not previously heard of hydraulic fracturing so I looked into it.  What I found disturbed me; fresh water permanently taken from the Earths hydrologic cycle, laced with toxic, cancer causing chemicals; being injected into the ground.  Not to mention the toxic wastewater that is produced and the pollution inducing emissions that leak from the tanks and pipes.  I was appalled that this type of heavy industrial activity would be occurring a mere few hundred feet from people’s homes, schools and parks.

The Oil and Gas Industry are a major contributing factor to the diminished air quality along the Front Range.  They are responsible for 30% of all methane emissions and in turn are responsible for the increase of lung damaging ozone along the Front Range.  The industry needs to be held accountable for polluting our air and they need to institute some common sense measures to cut down on smog inducing pollution.

~ Andrea R.