Using data from two new studies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will coordinate a health-risk assessment of oil and gas by summer 2018.
The three-year North Front Range Oil and Gas Air Pollutant Emission and Dispersion Study, available here and reported to the state this week, was conducted by Colorado State University (CSU) and designed to quantify emissions from hydraulic fracturing, flowback of liquids following fracturing, and production operations. CSU researchers conducted 18 experiments to quantify air emission rates and dispersion of from each of the three processes. Overall, production emissions (which may continue for many years) were found to be lower than the shorter-term fracking and flowback emissions, which last for a few days to a few weeks.
CDPHE will also use a similar Garfield County study completed in June 2016. Data from these two studies represent one of the most comprehensive assessments of air toxics, ozone precursors, and greenhouse gas emission rates from oil and natural gas well operations to date.