In July, the Board of County Commissioners extended the existing moratorium on accepting and processing new oil and gas development applications and on seismic testing through Dec. 31. A moratorium is in place to give staff time to review and update the county’s oil and gas regulations in response to the changes made by Senate Bill 19-181. The County’s update process will include public comment and hearings before the Boulder County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.
During the last several months, county staff and members of the public have been heavily involved in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission “Mission Change” rulemakings that are revising all COGCC rules in light of Senate Bill 19-181. Last week, the COGCC changed and extended the schedule for the rulemakings. While these proceedings were originally scheduled to end Oct. 9, the hearings will now run through Oct. 30. Consequently, the schedule that county staff previously set for public review of revisions to the Boulder County Land Use Code addressing oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County has been revised accordingly so staff and interested residents can participate in these important hearings at the state and also have the opportunity to participate in the County regulatory proceedings.
The revised schedule for review of the updated local oil and gas regulations is as follows (all meetings are open to the public and will be held virtually):
- Now through Oct. 30 — County staff participates in Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission “Mission Change” rulemaking process
- 4 p.m. Nov. 9 –— Public hearing for Planning Commission to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by Planning Commission.
- 4 p.m. Nov. 10 — Public meeting for Planning Commission discussion and recommendation to county commissioners or direction to staff to modify regulations. No additional public testimony.
- (If necessary) 4 p.m. Nov.17 — Planning Commission public proceedings continued, if needed.
- (If necessary) 4 p.m.Nov. 19 — Planning Commission public proceedings continued, if needed.
- 4 p.m. Dec. 1 — Public hearing for county commissioners to receive public testimony on the proposed oil and gas regulations. Public testimony only; no action by commissioners.
- 4 p.m. Dec. 3 — Public meeting for county commissioner discussion. Adoption of regulations or direction to staff to modify regulations. No additional public testimony.
- (If necessary) 4 p.m. Dec. 10 — County commissioners public proceedings continued, if needed.
- (If necessary) 4 p.m. Dec. 15 — County commissioners public proceedings continued, if needed.
- Dec. 31 — End of moratorium.
A virtual access link to each of the meetings will be available on the Open Meeting Portal closer to each date.
An initial draft of the updated regulations was posted to the county oil and gas website (https://boco.org/oilgas) on March 6 and is available for review and comment. A second draft will be published prior to the first Planning Commission hearing.
Updates to the schedule will be posted on the County’s Oil & Gas website, https://boco.org/oilgas. In addition to participating at Planning Commission and county commissioner hearings, comments and information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.