News Archive

April 16, 2019

Boulder County Commissioners applaud Governor Polis’ signing of oil and gas legislation, SB 181


Boulder County will use the new local government authority provided by SB 181 to protect Boulder County residents, visitors, and ecosystems to the full extent provided by law.


(Boulder, Colo. -- April 16, 2019) - This afternoon, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law SB19-181 “Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations.”

Statement from the Boulder County Commissioners:

The Board of County Commissioners for Boulder County applauds the Colorado General Assembly for its passage of Senate Bill 181 and Governor Jared Polis for signing the bill into law today. While not perfect, the bill is a meaningful step forward in addressing the conflicts that have erupted from oil and gas development in recent years, particularly along the Front Range of Colorado.

The bill levels the playing field for local governments by giving them more control and a stronger voice in what takes place inside their borders. The improved control gained by local governments is not unlimited, but the bill does provide them with clearer authority to regulate oil and gas development -- to protect public health, safety, and welfare, along with the environment and wildlife -- like they do every other land use in their communities.

Of particular importance is the explicit authority for local governments to address where this intensive industrial activity is sited (including consideration of alternative sites and cumulative impacts), so that local governments can keep it away from homes and schools, just like they keep other incompatible uses apart. Scrutinizing oil and gas development through a different lens that prioritizes the protection of people and the environment, and holding operators to higher standards, will allow for better outcomes that safeguard Coloradans.

Boulder County will continue to enforce its regulations which have been made stronger by SB 181 and will be an active participant in upcoming rule-makings at the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and Air Quality Control Commission. The county will use the new local government authority provided by SB 181 to protect Boulder County residents, visitors, and ecosystems to the full extent provided by law.


Large battery of oil storage equipment and gas operations in Weld County, Colo.

Oil & gas facility on Rinn Valley Schlagel Conservation Easement just east of Boulder County in Weld County, Colo.