STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is considering statewide rules on groundwater sampling and monitoring at new well pads.
During a meeting Monday in Steamboat Springs, the commission also began discussing changing the state’s so-called “setback” rules on how far wells must be from building.
Commission director Matt Lepore said the proposed rules would have to be published by Oct. 15 in order to be taken up during the commission’s Nov. 15 meeting. Steamboat Today reported that would put the commission on track to vote on whether to approve any new rules Jan. 3 and then submit them to the Legislature for approval.
One proposal would require a public hearing and commission approval before wellheads can be placed within 750 feet of schools or hospitals.
Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and a commission member, said he supported moving ahead with the rule-making process. He said the proposed changes are a “measured place to begin” and address the concerns of the industry and the public.
“It’s important to the governor that we come out into the communities and listen. This is a particularly appropriate time,” King said.
The state recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Longmont over its regulations for new wells.