Colorado oil and gas operators agree to steps on ozone alert days

Some oil and gas operators in Colorado have agreed to take steps this summer to reduce their ozone emissions on poor air-quality days.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association announced this month the steps will help prevent the northern Front Range, an area that includes metro Denver, from slipping from a “moderate” ozone attainment area into a “serious” category.

“A serious designation would be bad for business in Colorado and interrupt the progress the state is already making toward cleaner air, so while we can’t do it alone, we want to do our part,” Dan Haley, president and CEO of COGA, said in a statement.

Were the area to slip into a “serious” category , it could mean a cut in federal transportation funding for the region under the Clean Air Act. It could also lead to more scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Association said on high pollution days, companies will change the times for vehicle fueling and reduce the number of vehicles on the road. They might also managing drilling and completion schedules, delay the unloading of trucks and add aerial surveys to detect and fix leaks.