Justin Wasser, 202.753.7016, email@example.com
Background: In direct response to requests by community members and Earthworks, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), recently conducted an overhaul of an online tool that provides information to the public regarding oil & gas pollution complaints within the state. This dashboard overhaul is a major improvement for public accessibility of vital data for the nearly 300,000 residents impacted by oil & gas in Colorado. It was further likely influenced by the passage of the Protecting Communities From Air Pollution Act (HB1294-22), although it was not directly required by the legislation.
The new publicly available data further proves what Earthworks has been saying to public officials for years, that the agency typically relies on operators to conduct onsite inspections in response to complaints. This leaves impacted Coloradans in the position of having to trust polluters’ claims that potential issues have been investigated and resolved.
Statement by Earthworks Colorado Field Advocate Andrew Klooster:
“CDHPE shows they are listening to communities with improved transparency of pollution complaints and state actions to protect health. This is no minor change and we hope CDPHE continues this effort to help Coloradans hold their state agencies accountable. People can now better understand what the agency does and doesn’t do.
“We hope the agency continues to improve this system by adding features that allow residents to search for complaints and evidence submitted of harms from specific sites and facilities. People deserve to know what industrial dangers may be occurring near their homes.”
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