DENVER (CBS4) – Regulators began reviewing new rules Monday for pipelines across the state less than a year after a gas leak caused a deadly home explosion in Firestone.
“Firestone was a tragic event and something no one wants to see repeated ever again,” said Matt Lepore, Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
An odorless gas from an abandoned line caused the deadly explosion that destroyed that house in northern Colorado.
Thousands of wells were shut down immediately after that explosion as a short-term response.
“The commission took steps in the immediate wake of Firestone to address some concerns and the rule making really builds on that,” said Lepore.
The long-term solution includes new rules and guidelines.
The commission is meeting in downtown Denver over the course of two days at the University of Colorado.
Industry leaders have already drafted recommendations, including standards for designing, testing, recording and shutting down flowlines. These lines carry oil or gas from wells to tanks and other machinery.
The draft of new regulations also requires flowlines that are taken out of service must be disconnected, drained and sealed at both ends to prevent explosions like the one in Firestone.
The proposal also includes more registration of equipment that may carry oil and gas, plus updating standards for testing, maintenance, and repair of that equipment.
The commission is expected to approve the recommended rules with the possibility of making some changes. The rules would take effect on March 1.
“It is the highest priority for the commission and should be and is for operators,” said Lepore.