Gov. Hickenlooper orders statewide review of oil and gas operations

DENVER -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called for a statewide review of oil and gas operations after the disclosure that an abandoned gas flow line caused the house explosion and fire in Firestone that killed two people and injured one.

The governor made the announcement in a statement.

Public safety is paramount. We are assessing whether these operations were conducted in compliance with state law and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) rules. We also have issued a directive requiring oil and gas operators statewide to undertake the following actions:

  • Inspect and pressure test existing oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings to ensure integrity;
  • Ensure that any lines that are not in use are properly marked and capped;
  • Ensure all abandoned lines are cut below the surface and sealed.

Inspections of existing flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings must occur within 30 days and tested for integrity within 60 days. Lines that have been either abandoned or are not in use must be inspected within 30 days and abandoned under current rules within 60 days.

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The explosion on April 17 killed Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin, and severely injured Mark's wife, Erin Martinez.