Colorado considers new oil, gas setback rules
October 2, 2012
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is considering statewide rules on groundwater sampling and monitoring at new well pads.
During a meeting Monday in Steamboat Springs, the commission also began discussing changing the state’s so-called “setback” rules on how far wells must be from building.
Commission director Matt Lepore said the proposed rules would have to be published by Oct. 15 in order to be taken up during the commission’s Nov. 15 meeting. Steamboat Today (bit.ly/QIx3W2) reported that would put the commission on track to vote on whether to approve any new rules on Jan. 3 and then submit them to the Legislature for approval.
One proposal would require a public hearing and commission approval before wellheads can be placed within 750 feet of schools or hospitals.
Mike King, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and a commission member, said he supported moving ahead with the rulemaking process. He said the proposed changes are a “measured place to begin” and address the concerns of the industry and the public.
“It’s important to the governor that we come out into the communities and listen. This is a particularly appropriate time,” King said.
The state recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Longmont over its oil and gas regulations.