The COGCC again appears headed down the path of listening to industry and not local governments or citizens. Please consider attending the COGCC rulemaking on Jan. 8 and 9 to make sure that does not happen.
As a result of the Firestone explosion that tragically took two lives, the State (COGCC) has been working on new flowline rules. It will hold a public hearing on January 8 and 9 at the University of Colorado, Denver with citizen comments beginning at 8:40 a.m.
Broomfield and other municipalities submitted prehearing statements and participated in many conference calls in order to effectively coordinate their efforts. According to the January 9 City Council Agenda Manager’s Report Item 13b, although “many of the industry’s changes have made it into the [COGCC] draft document, few, if any, of local governments comments have made it into the proposed flowline rule.” PLEASE ATTEND AND VOICE YOUR SUPPORT DURING CITIZEN COMMENTS FOR THE COGCC TO INCLUDE INPUT FROM THE MUNICIPALITIES.
Broomfield’s prehearing statement can be found here on page 176.
Everyone can attend and request to testify; however, those who submitted statements by January 3 will be given priority.
Details for the hearings:
Date: Monday, Jan. 8 and Tuesday, Jan. 9
Time: 8:30 am
Place: University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs, Terrace Room, 1380 Lawrence Street, 2nd Floor, Denver, 80204
For further details, please see:
At the Dec. 19 City Council Meeting, Broomfield Special Counsel Tami Yellico reported that Broomfield’s emphasis for flowline rulemaking was on integrity management. The City’s prehearing statement asked for visual, leak-based and pressure testing of flowlines. It also asked that “as-built” maps of flowlines be provided to the City.
Ms. Yellico also stated that this is the City’s “first shot” at calling the State’s attention to many problems with the current level of required oil and gas operator insurance. The City’s flowline prehearing statement asked that environmental liability insurance be required of all pipeline owners.
At the Dec. 19 Council meeting, Ms. Yellico also stated that the Staff has identified approximately 10 other potential areas for rulemaking. If directed by Council to pursue rulemaking in other areas, Ms. Yellico said that the City would attempt to mobilize other cities to participate also. During comments at the Dec. 19th meeting, Council Members Shelton, Kreeger and Jezerski expressed general support for further rulemaking efforts.
In other State efforts related to flowlines, bipartisan-backed legislation is being proposed by State Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) and Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail). It would impose fines of up to $75,000 on excavators who failed to call 811 before they dig. After an excavator calls 811, 811 calls pipeline owners to require them to tell the excavators the location of the flowlines and other underground infrastructure. Related legislative proposals have faced opposition from the telecom industry in the past. You can find further details on this proposed legislation in The Denver Post’s 12/9 article “Digging deep into pockets: Bipartisan proposal would fine excavators who fail to call 811.”