Category Archives: City of Fort Collins

COMMENTS TO BOCC ON O&G EMISSIONS NORTHEAST OF FORT COLLINS

On Tuesday, September 28, Doug Henderson delivered these remarks in the Administrative Matters meeting of the Larimer Board of County Commissioners. Tim Gosar, Gayla Martinez, Cory Caroll, and Jonathan Singer (LOGIC’s new executive director) also made comments to the Board:

Good morning Commissioners,

In a Tues morning BoCC meeting in June, we addressed the problem of
harmful, often illegal, emissions from oil & gas facilities – emissions
that damage people’s health, degrade air quality, and gravely harm our
planet’s climate.

We presented evidence about such emissions from a Prospect Energy
facility northeast of Fort Collins, including imaging of the emissions
taken by Earthworks in January and March 2021. A local resident also
told of his experience, health impacts, and harm suffered for years from
toxic emissions from this facility.

After the January investigation by Earthworks, a complaint was submitted
to the state, and Prospect subsequently said it had stopped the leaks
and emissions.

The next investigation in March showed that the facility was still
leaking, and another complaint was submitted to the state.

Prospect then actually made some repairs, and the leaks and emissions
stopped. At least temporarily.

But before long, local residents again were suffering from emissions
from this facility. So in early September, Earthworks investigated
again. Here is video from that investigation – which shows the facility
was leaking again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAWHJ8CzY5E

The illegal emissions documented in January, March, and September this
year are not the first. CDPHE cited Prospect last November for
regulatory non-compliance and illegal emissions at this facility – for
violations documented in November 2018, June 2019, and October 2019.

(A copy of the letter from CDPHE to Prospect Energy is attached.)

Only 2 months after CDPHE’s warning letter to Prospect, Earthworks
documented the January 2021 violation. Then came more documented
violations – in March and again earlier this month.

A few weeks ago, Earthworks also documented illegal emissions from
another Prospect facility in the Hearthfire neighborhood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC1anPkau_E

Unfortunately these emissions happen at O&G sites all the time. This is
oil & gas business as usual, how the industry has operated for decades.

Colorado law is clear: protection of public health holds priority in oil
& gas development. Larimer County’s oil & gas regulations uphold this law.

It is time to protect public health and the environment from these
harmful and illegal emissions.

It is also time to hold Prospect Energy fully accountable for its record
as a repeat violator.

Thank you for your attention to this.

Doug Henderson

Doug, along with our colleagues in Earthworks, has also been maintaining communication with Cassie Archuleta, Air Quality Program Manager for the City of Fort Collins, bringing attention to these sites Northeast of Fort Collins. Particular attention has been paid to one located near the Hearthfire neighborhood.

Clean Air Champions

During the December 4 board meeting of the Regional Air Quality Commission, the city of Fort Collins was recognized as one of the first recipients of the commission’s Clean Air Champion award.  The city has taken significant steps to reduce emissions by initiating a program to convert the city fleet to electric vehicles as well as replacing mowing equipment with electric machines. 

It is my hope that some of you reading this blog will take the time to send congratulations to Mayor Troxel and city staff for this effort.  In the climate crisis we are now facing, there is no change too big not to be considered; but, likewise, there is no change too small to go without recognition.  We must have a broad perspective that will allow us to perceive all the interconnecting dots.

A significant connection in regards to the city’s admirable work to shift away from vehicles and equipment using internal combustion engines, is the parallel need for the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) to prepare for 100% renewable sources of energy by 2030 (possibly by 2028 given the recent proposal of the Air Quality Control Commission to move the retirement date for the Rawhide coal-powered plant up by two years).  As long as the electric vehicles and equipment that the city has purchased run on electricity generated by fossil fuels, whether coal or natural gas, the value of that investment is greatly diminished. 

The city of Fort Collins is gaining a reputation for being a leader in addressing climate change, it is critical that the city’s efforts be supported by equally bold action on the part of the PRPA.