New Colorado state rules, passed on Feb. 23, curb emissions from oil and gas operations.

Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, called the regulations the strongest in the nation and a model for the country.

“And while it’s important to recognize that these rules won’t solve every problem related to oil and gas development in Colorado, they do set a whole new paradigm for environmental protection," Krupp said. 

Ted Brown with Noble Energy praised the new rules for including the nation's first statewide limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

"We all want clean air, and we believe that when you keep methane in the pipeline and out of the air, that’s the right thing to do, that’s the right thing for the environment, for Colorado residents and for our businesses," Brown said.

The regulations also call for the use of infrared cameras to detect air pollution at oil and gas sites.

Despite support from major oil and gas companies, the new rules were not fully supported by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, who said the regulations could be too expensive for smaller operations. 

Formal approval of the regulations should come in April and implementing them could take more than a year.