WildEarth Guardians

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Pushing Colorado to Lower Emissions Limits for Major Sources

WildEarth Guardians v. CDPHE
Pending, Stayed
Case No.
Date Filed
April 28, 2022
State, Venue
Colorado, Weld County District Court
Katherine Merlin
Summit Midstream’s Hereford Ranch processing facility is a major source of VOCs and carbon monoxide in Weld County, Colorado. It processes fracked methane gas to remove water, particulates, and carbon dioxide from the gas before it is sent to consumers. Constructed in 2010, this facility applied for its first operating permit in 2015. However, the state did not get around to processing this permit application until Guardians filed suit in 2022 – more than five years after the state’s statutory deadline to act.

As a result of Guardians lawsuit, the state encouraged Summit to lower its emissions levels to qualify for a different kind of permit known as a “synthetic minor” permit. This is good news, because short of getting a facility shut down, the move to this kind of permit results in the greatest amount of actual emissions reductions. Guardians agreed to stay this case pending finalization of the new permit, in the hope that the state will move more of its “major” sources to lower their emissions to “minor” source levels.