The Latest: Colorado OKs pipeline rules after fatal blast

November 22, 2019

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on pipeline safety rules being considered by Colorado regulators (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Colorado regulators have approved a set of safety measures designed to increase protections surrounding thousands of miles of underground oil and gas pipelines in the state.

The rules approved Thursday provide for public access to a more detailed and accurate state map of locations of flowlines, which are pipelines that connect an oil or gas well to other pieces of equipment.

They also tighten procedural and reporting requirements when energy companies install, open, close or abandon flowlines.

Odorless gas seeping from an abandoned flowline contributed to a 2017 home explosion in Firestone that killed two people and injured two others.

Investigators found that, despite being abandoned, the line was connected to an operating well.


1:15 p.m.

A survivor of a deadly home explosion caused by an abandoned gas pipeline is urging Colorado regulators to verify that energy firms are ensuring with tougher safety rules.

Erin Martinez spoke Thursday as state regulators consider new safety regulations prompted in large part by a 2017 explosion that killed her husband and brother.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is holding hearings in Greeley before taking action on proposed rules that focus on flowlines, which connect oil and gas wells to other equipment.

Thousands of miles of flowlines exist in Colorado.

An unmapped, abandoned and leaking flowline saturated the soil near Martinez’s home with odorless gas before the April 2017 blast