On April 16, Governor Polis signed SB19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations into law. This signals the official start of what is estimated to be around two years of rulemaking at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to implement the bill. The COGCC had postponed their April hearings when the bill passed the State legislature and the hearings have now been rescheduled for May 20 and 21.
Local governments will now also examine their oil and gas regulations to review possible revisions given greater local control under the bill. Broomfield Council will likely begin their review of oil and gas regulations at a May 14 Study Session. In a April 16 email from the Boulder County Commissioners Office, it stated, “Boulder County will use the new local government authority provided by SB 181 to protect Boulder County residents, visitors, and ecosystems to the full extent provided by law.”
The League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC) was instrumental in the passage of the bill. (Note: Broomfield Concerned is a neighborhood group under the umbrella of LOGIC.) Here is their statement:
“Today, I had the honor of standing with Governor Polis as he signed SB181 into law. I want to be very clear. SB181 is now law because of you. Because of the countless years, days and hours you spent testifying in hearings and participating in conversations with legislators…. because of the thousands of emails and phone calls and attendance at town hall meetings…. because of your dedication to showing up and making clear the experiences of impacted Coloradans.”
“SB181 is now law, and for that, I thank you all.”
“Sara Loflin, LOGIC Executive Director”
“The League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC) delivered a letter to Governor Polis from 54 Groups across Colorado requesting that he sign SB181 – Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations – into law without delay. For residents facing the impacts of oil and gas in their communities, this bill is long past due. The signing of SB181 into law will start the process towards giving Local Governments more control to protect public health and safety, as well as require rulemakings at the COGCC and CDPHE to address issues related to air emissions, protection of public health and safety, and the environment.”
You can read the letter here.