Colorado is beefing up requirements for reporting oil and gas spills. The new rule would require energy companies to report spills that are over 1 barrel or 42 gallons.
The previous reporting threshold [.pdf] was 5 barrels and companies had 10 days to report. Now the industry must report these smaller spills that leave the well pad within 24 hours.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unanimously approved the change, which stemmed from legislation passed earlier in 2013.
“It’s a very common sense, very simple, very practical bill,” said legislative sponsor Representative Diane Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs). “It will indeed prevent water pollution from oil spills, so I’m very pleased.”
The new rule also requires companies to notify local emergency officials, something that didn’t always happen before.
“That’s critical because it’s so important for making sure a spill is cleaned up quickly,” said Bush.
Some members of the oil and gas industry support the changes while others remain neutral.