CPR News found a common practice designed to let oil and gas companies maintain ownership of old holdings.
CPR’s Grace Hood and Ben Markus have been reporting this story all year, and tell Colorado Matters about what’s changed in Firestone.
Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joe Irwin, both 42 years old, were killed in the Firestone blast. Martinez’ wife Erin was seriously injured.
The regulations set requirements for installing, testing and shutting down flowlines, which carry oil and gas from wells to nearby equipment.
Few, if any states, map flowlines. Big energy developing states like neighboring Wyoming or Texas do not have any mapping requirement.
Colorado regulators will discuss what, if any, revisions are needed to the rules. They could approve them as soon as today.
The state hasn't taken enforcement action in the Firestone deaths, citing the lack of rules covering fatal accidents in the oil and gas industry.
The 14-page draft of new regulations says flow lines that are permanently taken out of service must be disconnected, drained and sealed at both ends, and any above-ground portion must be removed.
More than 400 of Colorado's oil and gas pipelines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings failed inspections. The location of these pipelines is unknown at this time.
Colorado's oil and gas regulators have released an outline of possible new standards for designing, testing and permanently shutting down flow lines.