On June 4, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved authorization for text amendments to the Boulder County Land Use Code in Docket DC-19-0002: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Text Amendments related to Article 12 – Special Review for Oil and Gas Operations. Read more.
Staff requested the BOCC authorize text amendments to Article 12 of the Land Use Code in light of SB19-181 (Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations), which was signed into law on April 16, 2019. SB19-181 prioritizes the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry by modifying the oil and gas statute and by clarifying, reinforcing, and establishing local governments’ regulatory authority over the surface impacts of oil and gas development. The bill granted additional authority to local governments to regulate oil and gas development. Specifically, it clarified that local governments have land use authority to regulate the siting of oil and gas locations to minimize adverse impacts to public safety, health, welfare, and the environment and to regulate land use and surface impacts, including the ability to inspect oil and gas facilities; impose fines for leaks, spills, and emissions; and impose fees on operators or owners to cover the reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect costs of permitting and regulation and the costs of any monitoring and inspection program necessary to address the impacts of development and enforce local governmental requirements.
Staff intends to work on changes to the current set of oil and gas regulations as time and resources allow. It is anticipated this project will take significant staff time from multiple departments. The timing will be somewhat dependent on outcomes from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rulemakings that will occur over the next two years, given that involvement in the state rulemaking processes will involve the same county staff that will lead the Article 12 update, and since the resulting rules from the COGCC’s proceedings may inform the local Boulder County review.