The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment today published the long awaited “Human Health Risk Assessment for Oil and Gas Operations in Colorado.” The report has been in the works for 3 years.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment today published the long awaited “Human Health Risk Assessment for Oil and Gas Operations in Colorado.” The report has been in the works for 3 years. A summary of the final report was published today in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association here, and the State of Colorado issued a Press Release and one page summary.
The study is not based on actual health impacts people have reported from oil and gas operations or on measured concentrations in the air surrounding the well pad, but rather, as the summary indicates, “...the study uses actual emissions data from oil and gas operations in Colorado, to estimate or “model” hypothetical exposures and risks of health impacts. Modeling is used to predict how pollutants move through the air, accounting for weather conditions and emissions from a source, to estimate exposures at multiple distances from a well pad. These estimated exposures are then used to understand the potential risk to public health.” With that in mind, Broomfield is in the process of evaluating the findings of the study and what it may mean for our Oil and Gas Program.
In response to the release of this study, Broomfield is prioritizing our efforts and next steps:
This afternoon staff has reached out to engage CSU, our partner in Broomfield’s Air Quality Monitoring Program, with the request to compare the air emission data already collected at the operator’s well sites to the emission data utilized to develop the findings in this study. CSU is uniquely familiar with data used by the State’s contractor in this study, as much of the raw emissions data was collected by CSU for the State and Garfield County.
Over the next week, staff will digest and evaluate the study to determine how SB19-181, 301, and the data contained in this study will further impact and influence our current efforts in drafting the new local rules and regulations and influencing State policy and regulations, which include the potential enhancement of our oil and gas best management practices, and any implications associated with the existing operator agreement.
Continue to evolve our existing oil and gas program efforts by enhancing our Public Health response to residents by gathering environmental and health data to evaluate and better understand how environmental exposure to oil and gas activities may influence health.
We will continue to update the public as additional news becomes available.