05-02-17 Gov. Hickenlooper directs review of statewide oil and gas operations following Firestone home explosion investigation

Gov. Hickenlooper directs review of statewide oil and gas operations following Firestone home explosion investigation

DENVER — Tuesday, May 2,  2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper today called for a statewide review of existing oil and gas operations following the disclosure of the cause of the Firestone home explosion that killed two and critically injured one other.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martinez and Irwin families at this difficult time.

Public safety is paramount. We are assessing whether these operations were conducted in compliance with state law and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) rules. We also have issued a directive requiring oil and gas operators statewide to undertake the following actions:

  • Inspect and pressure test existing oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings to ensure integrity;

  • Ensure that any lines that are not in use are properly marked and capped;

  • Ensure all abandoned lines are cut below the surface and sealed.

Inspections of existing flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings must occur within 30 days and tested for integrity within 60 days. Lines that have been either abandoned or are not in use must be inspected within 30 days and abandoned under current rules within 60 days.

Since the day after the explosion and fire, COGCC and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have worked closely with the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District and Firestone Police Department in its investigation of the cause and origin. In addition, COGCC has been conducting its own investigation into potential environmental impacts from nearby oil and gas operations.

The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection investigation concluded that no additional contamination or danger exists to neighboring homes. We have and will continue to make all state resources available as needed.

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