Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed a sweeping overhaul of oil and gas rules into law this week. The new legislation puts public safety and the environment first, rather than encouraging production. Senate Bill 181 comes into place two years after a house explosion caused by a gas leak in Firestone.
Two years ago, Erin Martinez lost her husband and brother to that explosion. As a burn survivor, Erin became an advocate for oil and gas reform to help make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to someone else.
Erin Martinez, whose husband and brother died in the 2017 Firestone home explosion, spoke publicly for the first time today at a news conference on proposed new oil and gas legislation in Colorado. pic.twitter.com/irgPNRqs5T
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) February 28, 2019
Weld County, CO is the hub for oil and gas development in the state. As more people move into this area, residents fear the risk of gas explosions in addition to noise and pollution. The new law allows local governments more control over oil and gas development, including well locations. The Firestone explosion occurred when an underground gas line from a well leaked gas into the home. Burn survivor advocates, like Erin Martinez, hope that this new law will help prevent catastrophic gas line explosions from happening in the future.