Decide upholds new state’s air-quality guidelines for oil, fuel websites in opposition to problem by Weld County

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Weld County’s problem of latest state air-quality guidelines aimed toward lowering oil and fuel emissions has been dismissed by a district decide who rejected claims that the laws are detrimental to the county.
Denver District Decide Michael Martinez issued a choice Wednesday granting a movement by the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Setting and the Air High quality Management Fee to dismiss the case. Martinez agreed with state officers that Weld County had not proven that complying with the principles, permitted by the AQCC in December, harms the county.
Martinez additionally mentioned the county is subordinate to the state company with regards to regulating air high quality. Due to this fact, the county is restricted in its authority to adopting laws which might be the identical or extra restrictive than the state guidelines, the decide mentioned.
The Weld County legal professional and commissioners are reviewing the order and can decide whether or not to enchantment the choice, county spokeswoman Jennifer Finch mentioned in an e mail Thursday.
In December, the AQCC permitted new laws to implement Senate Invoice 181, which was permitted in 2019 and mandates that state oil and fuel guidelines be revised to present stronger safety to public well being and security and the atmosphere.
Among the many adjustments adopted by the fee have been extra frequent inspections of properly websites and tools, together with websites inside 1,000 toes of occupied buildings and such public locations as parks and playgrounds. The foundations took impact in February.
“We’ve got mentioned from the start that the Air High quality Management Fee’s December 2019 guidelines — in addition to the method that led to them — have been in step with state legislation. We are going to proceed to aggressively pursue new guidelines and laws that scale back emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution,” Andrew Naked, spokesman for the state Air Air pollution Management Division, mentioned in an e mail.
Seven conservation organizations intervened within the lawsuit to defend the principles. The identical teams have intervened in a lawsuit by Garfield and 9 different counties difficult among the AQCC’s new laws.
“I believe SB 181 made clear the necessity for the state to adequately shield the general public well being, security, the atmosphere and wildlife assets,” mentioned Sara Loflin, the manager director of the League of Oil and Gasoline Impacted Communities.
Loflin mentioned her group and others characterize a whole bunch of Coloradans who deal each day with the results of residing shut to grease and fuel websites.
Weld County argued in its lawsuit that the air-quality guidelines will hurt its tax base due to the impacts on the oil and fuel business and intervene with its authority to manage land makes use of. The county is house to almost half of the state’s roughly 52,000 lively oil and fuel wells.
Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer has mentioned of the $890 million in property taxes paid within the county in 2019, $490 million got here from oil and fuel.

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