The environmental group, Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution from drilling and hydraulic fracturing for oil and methane gas in Colorado.
“Colorado can’t keep letting more and more oil and gas wells spew their pollution if we’re going to have any hope of fixing our severe smog problem,” said Robert Ukeiley, a senior attorney at the Center. “Our lawsuit is aimed at forcing the EPA to crack down on this dangerous pollution.”
The Denver Metro/North Front Range area has levels of ozone, commonly referred to as smog, that are well above the EPA’s science-based standards intended to protect public health and the environment. The oil and methane gas industry is one of the biggest contributors to smog in Colorado.
The plan submitted to the EPA by Colorado’s Air Pollution Control Division to clean up the smog includes loopholes that allow unlimited air pollution from drilling and fracking.
Ozone pollution is linked to human health problems like asthma attacks and can cause premature death. Those most at risk include older adults, children, people with asthma and other lung disease, and people who exercise or work outdoors.
Ozone also damages Colorado’s parks and natural areas, including aspen trees.
“If the EPA revokes the free pass for the oil and gas industries’ pollution, it will level the economic playing field to speed up the transition to renewable energy to meet our transportation and heating needs,” said Ukeiley.