Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Feb 5 2012
Introduced by state Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, Senate Bill 88 is before the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver. Its title is “Preempt Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations.”
According to a bulletin in the Colorado Municipal League's Jan. 23 Statehouse Report, the bill is “aimed at radically limiting or completely extinguishing local government authority over one class of industrial land use: oil and gas operations.”
Garfield County Commissioner John Martin, however, believes the bill is little more than a restatement of existing law.
“As I read it, local regulations are the ones that would be ‘operational conflicts,'” Martin said. He was referring to existing state law that gives the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) complete jurisdiction over, as Martin termed it, “everything on the pad and underground.”
Local governments, Martin continued, have jurisdiction only over the land-use aspects of the industry, including traffic concerns, air and water quality issues, and the creation of man camps to house employees who work on the drilling rigs and other remote facilities.
“I see it as pretty much the status quo,” Martin said.