Natural gas flaring from a Williams Energy facility can be seen from Garfield County Road 215 on Aug. 14, 2020. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

A lawsuit challenging new air quality rules governing emissions from oil and gas operations was dismissed Tuesday by a Denver District Court judge who found Garfield County lacked standing to sue the state.

Garfield County is one of nine counties in the Western and Rural Local Government Coalition to sue after the state Air Quality Control Commission adopted tough new methane and air pollution rules in 2019.

Judge Martin Egelhoff cited the July 29 dismissal of Weld County’s lawsuit in his decision, finding that Garfield County also could not claim damages arising from a rule that applies to the entire oil and gas industry.

Garfield County had argued that the AQCC did not pay sufficient attention to local concerns and economic impacts. They also argued it was unfair to apply rules for large oil and gas operations in Front Range communities to smaller wells in rural areas.

The Colorado Sun

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