Putting the Public First

Download Publication

Over generations, the state of Colorado built and perpetuated a regulatory system and culture prioritizing oil and gas industry interests ahead of all others. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) was no exception.

The 2019 passage of Senate Bill 19-1811 signaled a landmark change: it directed state agencies to prioritize public health and safety. Consequently, the system created to foster Colorado’s oil and gas oil industry must be rebuilt to serve the public first.

“Rebuilt” is not hyperbole. This report illustrates the inadequacy and opacity of CDPHE’s current procedures to protect the public.

Bolstered by recent Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) rulemaking decisions, the time is ripe for CDPHE to remake its approach to oil and gas oversight – prioritizing transparency, community voices and industry accountability for the pollution and harm it causes.