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Colorado Proposed Gas Pigging Regulations

Colorado is proposing new environmental regulations that may impact the midstream gas pipeline segment. The new regulations define the midstream gas pipeline segment as the pipe between the well and the transmission pipeline. The purpose of the proposed regulations is to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases, primarily methane, and volatile organic compounds emitted from pigging operations and blowdown operations. The pigging and blowdown proposed changes in Regulation 7 of the Department of Public Health and Environment are just a few of multiple changes impacting natural gas processing plants, compressors and well pad emissions.

The emission reduction requirements for pigging and blowdown operations, with the exception to high frequency activities, require the operator to use best management practices to control the emissions. These practices include venting higher pressure pipe to lower pressure systems, reducing the volume of the pipe and pig barrel to minimize the volume to be vented, and removal of liquids before the opening of the pig receivers to prevent volatilization of the liquid. There are new recordkeeping and reporting requirements associated with these changes. These changes are primarily determining the amount and character of the released material and the actions taken to minimize the quantity.

A public hearing (online only) is scheduled for December 14, 2021. Details to participate and register can be found here. Copies of the proposed regulation and associated documents can be accessed on Google Drive here. For a copy of the Public Hearing Notice, contact Jessica Foley.