Western Slope Needs Own Air Regulations Says County Specialist

A local administrator says a state panel should enact stricter air quality standards for oil and gas industries than the group adopted at a Sunday meeting.

Mesa County air quality specialist Perry Buda says the Colorado Air Quality Commission should have heeded the requests of the City of Grand Junction and environmentalists to use the same standards for emissions from energy exploration locally as are used on the front range. Instead, the board decided to use statewide standards, which are not as restrictive.

People on the Western Slope want the more restrictive air quality regulations on volatile releases of chemical by-products of oil and gas exploration that increase ozone levels. Buda says there is more to consider, as other by-products may affect the health of those people with breathing difficulties.

He says the commission's requirement to update emissions requirements yearly is a step in the right direction as there is currently no baseline data on these types of pollutants.