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Posted on: October 27, 2020

Boulder County releases 2nd draft of updated oil and gas regulations for public review

Boulder County

Boulder County has released a second draft of its updated oil and gas regulations. View the summary and 2nd draft updated draft oil and gas regulations.

The draft oil and gas regulations are available for review on the Boulder County Oil & Gas webpage. Boulder County welcomes comments from the public, which can be emailed to oilgascomment@bouldercounty.org.

The Boulder County Planning Commission will review the proposed regulations beginning Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 following the Board of County Commissioners’ review starting Dec. 1 (see full schedule below).

The regulations have been revised in response to Senate Bill 19-181 (“Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations”) which prioritizes the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry and grants additional authority to local governments to regulate the impacts of oil and gas development.  Boulder County staff then updated the March 6, 2020 first draft based on further research and multiple comments received by the public.

The county’s updated regulations provide for close scrutiny of all proposed oil and gas development and multiple opportunities for public input prior to any decision being made. For any new oil and gas development applications, these regulations will allow Boulder County staff, the Boulder County  Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, the Boulder County  Planning Commission, and the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners to consider site-specific circumstances and possible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts in determining whether to approve or deny a proposal. In addition, the proposed regulations will help to ensure careful monitoring and enforcement over oil and gas operations, including existing oil and gas facilities. A detailed summary is posted along with the 2nd draft regulations online.

Boulder County will continue to have a moratorium on new oil and gas development and seismic testing in place through Dec. 31, 2020 while the regulations are under review, so that any new applications to drill can be reviewed under the most protective, updated regulations that are ultimately adopted. No applications for oil and gas development have been submitted to Boulder County to date.

Schedule for review of the updated regulations:

  • Now through Nov. 20, 2020* – Boulder County staff participates in Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) “Mission Change” Rulemaking Process (200-600 Series and 800-1200 Series). (*On October 13, COGCC revised their schedule again, extending the rulemaking proceedings through Nov. 20).
  • Monday, Nov. 9 at 4pm – Public hearing for Planning Commission to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by Planning Commission.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 4pm. – Public meeting for Planning Commission discussion and recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners or direction to staff to modify regulations. No additional public testimony. 
    • (If necessary) Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 4pm – Planning Commission public proceedings continued, if needed.
    • (If necessary) Thursday, Nov. 19 at 4pm – Planning Commission public proceedings continued, if needed.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 at 4pm – Public hearing for the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by BOCC.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at 4pm– Public meeting for BOCC discussion. Adoption of regulations or direction to staff to modify regulations. No additional public testimony. 
    • (If necessary) Thursday, Dec. 10 at 4pm – BOCC public proceedings continued, if needed.
    • (If necessary) Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 4pm– BOCC public proceedings continued, if needed.

How to attend the virtual public meetings

Information on how to attend the virtual public meetings is  posted on the county’s Oil & Gas webpage.  Any updates to the schedule will also be posted on the webpage. Sign-up to receive notification via email or text message.

In addition to participating at Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioner hearings, the county encourages the public to submit comments to oilgascomment@bouldercounty.org for those boards to consider.

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