An alternate rule to establish shorter repair deadlines for oil and gas operators in Colorado was recently finalized. Effective March 1, 2021, leaks identified by a non-quantitative instrument at a well production facility located within 1,000 feet of an occupied area, must make a first attempt to repair the leak as soon as practicable, but no later than five (5) working days after discovery of the leak. If the repair cannot be completed within five (5) days and the leak is not stopped using other means, operators must notify the local government with jurisdiction over the location and the Division. Reasons why an operator may be unable to attempt or complete repair within five days include, among other things: inclement weather that prevents a timely repair or repair attempt or delays in procuring necessary heavy equipment and workover rigs.
Occupied areas are defined as a building or structure designed for use as a place of residency, indoor or outdoor spaces associated with a school, 5,000 sq. ft. of building floor area in commercial facilities that are operating or normally occupied during working hours, and/or an outdoor venue or recreation area. Proximity analyses are to be conducted from the closest tank on site to the boundary of an occupied area.