The Latest: Colorado starts work on new oil and gas rules
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on Colorado’s new oil and gas rules (all times local):
Environmentalists and community activists are asking Colorado regulators to stop issuing new oil and gas drilling permits until they rewrite the rules under a new law that makes public safety and the environment the state’s top priorities.
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff met Wednesday to hear public comments on the first changes, which deal mostly with administrative procedures, not drilling.
More than a dozen activists spoke, asking for a pause in permits, urging much tougher rules or demanding a bigger role for the public.
Industry representatives asked a few questions or declined to speak.
Commission Director Jeff Robbins said the agency staff will analyze the comments, along with others submitted in writing, before the administrative rules are set.
The commission is expected to begin revising drilling rules later this year.
Colorado oil and gas regulators are outlining some of their first planned rule changes under a new law that makes public safety and the environment their top priorities.
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will meet with industry representatives and others Wednesday to discuss revisions.
The first proposals deal mostly with administrative procedures, not drilling. But they reflect the commission’s new marching orders by adding language about health, the environment and wildlife.
The session is billed as a stakeholder meeting to hear public comments, and no decisions are expected. It could take years to fully implement the law.
Under the previous law, the commission’s top priority was encouraging production. The new law reflects increasing fears about safety as a booming oil field overlaps with fast-growing communities in northern Colorado.