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Colorado passes stiff new oil and gas rules prioritizing public health, environment for the 1st time

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unanimously approved a sweeping overhaul of state oil and gas permitting rules Monday.
Credit: KATHLEEN LAVINE, DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL

DENVER — Tighter rules about how close oil and gas wells can be to homes and wildlife habitats in Colorado — and rules increasing local government say in well locations — will kick in Jan. 15.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state’s top industry regulator, unanimously approved a sweeping overhaul of state oil and gas permitting rules Monday, capping more than three months of hearings about changing regulations intended to prioritize public health and the environment and give greater protections to wildlife.

The rules also allow more public feedback in well-permitting decisions and, if the local government wants it, require drilling projects address local government concerns before their state drilling permit application is considered by the COGCC.

The 2019 legislation, known as Senate Bill-181, changed the COGCC mission to regulating in protection of people, the environment and wildlife instead of fostering the safe and efficient extraction of oil and gas, which had been the COGCC’s mission.

>Read more from our partners at the Denver Business Journal. 

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