March 6, 2020
Boulder County draft oil and gas regulations available for public review
MARCH 20, 2020 UPDATE - PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19 Concerns Board of County Commissioners Vacated the Schedule for Review of Proposed Oil and Gas Regulations. New dates will be announced when renewed Boulder County operations can be predicted with certainty.
County welcomes comments and ideas from the public
Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County has released the first draft of its updated oil and gas regulations. View the summary and updated draft oil and gas regulations. The draft oil and gas regulations are available for review on the county oil and gas website at https://www.boco.org/OilGas . The county welcomes comments and ideas from the public, which can be emailed to email@example.com.
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.
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 staff, the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission, and the 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 more detailed summary is posted with the draft regulations on-line.
The county will continue to have a moratorium on new oil and gas development and seismic testing in place until July 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.
The anticipated schedule for review of the updated regulations is as follows: (all meetings are open to the public and will be held in the Commissioners' Hearing Room.* Meetings listed as hearings will include public testimony (as noted):
- Monday, April 6 at 4 p.m. – Public hearing for Planning Commission to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by Planning Commission. Because of heightened public interest in participation at this hearing, an online advance sign-up system will be used for public testimony.
- Wednesday, April 8 at 1 p.m. – 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. (Note: In observance of Passover, this meeting will finish by sundown.)
- (If necessary) Monday, April 27 at 4 p.m. – Planning Commission public meeting continued, if needed. No additional public testimony.
- Month of May – County staff participate in Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Rulemaking Hearings.
- Thursday, June 18 at 4 p.m. – Public hearing for the Board to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by BOCC. Because of heightened public interest, there will be an online advance sign-up for speakers at this hearing.
- Thursday, June 25 at 4 p.m. – Public meeting for Board discussion. Adoption of regulations or direction to staff to modify regulations. No additional public testimony.
- (If necessary) Tuesday, July 7 at 1 p.m. – BOCC public proceedings continued, if needed.
- (If necessary) Thursday, July 9 at 3 p.m. – BOCC public proceedings continued, if needed.
- (If necessary) Tuesday, July 14 at 1 p.m. – BOCC public proceedings continued, if needed.
- July 31, 2020 – Revised end of moratorium.
Updates to the schedule will be posted on the County’s Oil & Gas website (www.boco.org/OilGas). In addition to participating at Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioner hearings, the county encourages the public to submit comments and other ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Commissioners' Hearing Room, 3rd Floor, County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street, Boulder (map & directions)