Colorado first adopted methane emissions regulations for the oil and gas sector in 2014. Colorado’s regulations require oil and gas companies to find and fix methane leaks, and, where necessary, install technologies to limit or prevent emissions. Colorado tightened its rules in 2019 to require semiannual leak detection, tank controls, and performance standards for transmission. Some critics have alleged that bad data collection undermines Colorado’s aggressive rules.
In 2020, in response to SB 181, Colorado approved a broad swath of new rules seen as some of the strictest in the country. The new rules include what’s considered the strongest statewide well setback requirement: 2,000 feet between new wells and schools and homes. Colorado also joined Alaska as the only other state to ban routine venting and flaring of natural gas from oil and gas wells and other equipment.