Towns, counties ask for role in oil-gas rules in flood zones |

Towns, counties ask for role in oil-gas rules in flood zones

An oil well pump site is reflected in floodwaters in September 2013 near Greeley. The commission that oversees oil and gas regulation in Colorado adopted new rules Monday designed to limit spills during major floods like the one that struck the Front Range in 2013. But the panel rejected a request that it grant local government the authority to impose stricter rules.
AP | John Wark

DENVER — Some local governments are asking Colorado regulators to recognize their authority to restrict oil and gas drilling near waterways.

Torie Jarvis of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments made the request Monday to the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The council represents 22 towns and Eagle, Grand, Jackson, Pitkin and Summit counties. Jarvis said local government rules might be stricter than the state’s.

The commission is reviewing proposals to limit spills during floods and could vote later Monday. Commissioners didn’t indicate whether they would include language acknowledging local authority.

Proposals drawn up by oil and gas commission staff don’t address where wells can be located, only steps that must be taken to limit flood damage.

A 2013 flood in Colorado caused spills of 91,000 gallons of oil and contaminated water.

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