Saturday, July 13, 2024

Environmental groups demonstrate gas imaging technology that can see emissions

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — On Saturday, Colorado environmental groups offered the community a chance to go out to different oil and gas fracking sites to see what they look like through a camera with optical gas imaging technology.

“We’re having firsthand experience about the impacts,” said Bobbie Mooney, Beyond Oil and Gas coordinator with 350 Colorado. “Viewing it through a camera and learning about it from a subject matter expert.”

The camera looks like an ordinary video camera from the outside, but Andrew Klooster, a Colorado field advocate for Earthworks, said it can detect organic volatile compounds you can’t see with the naked eye.

“This was technology that was designed for the industry to be able to look really quickly at a facility and identify any issues that are going on, so methane or volatile compound emissions, and then fix those issues,” Klooster said.

He said Earthworks then purchased the cameras in 2014 to hold these corporations accountable.

“We do tours like this and use the camera and give people kind of that firsthand experience in order to both raise awareness about, kind of ongoing emissions from the oil and gas industry, but also just allow for people to kind of ask questions and engage in conversation,” Klooster said.

While the video is compelling, Rich Coolidge, public affairs manager for Civitas Resources, which owns some of the oil and gas fracking sites in Aurora, said it is best to take it with a grain of salt.

“The OGI can also capture heat signatures, so it’s inconclusive. For our part, we have air monitors at all of those Aurora sites,” Coolidge wrote in an email to FOX31.

He added Civitas adheres to Arapahoe County’s new regulations, which were adopted last November and are, “the strictest, most protective oil and gas regulations in the state.”

It will be a fight next legislative session as these grassroots groups work to get bipartisan legislation on the ballot.

“We want to see a managed decline of the industry to reduce emissions and protect the health and safety of Coloradans that are really on the frontlines of this destructive industry and the pollution that comes from it,” Mooney said.

In the meantime, Civitas said in a statement to FOX31: “We’re always exploring opportunities to recycle and reuse produced water and remain committed to finding solutions that will work for the unique challenges in our state’s geology.”

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