Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order today that creates a task force to help clarify and better coordinate the regulatory jurisdiction between the state and local governments over oil and gas operations.
The task force is expected to report its recommendations and findings to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate no later than April 18, unless the group is either terminated or extended beyond that date by another Executive Order.
"This is an important step to better define state and local jurisdiction regulatory structures as Colorado's oil and gas industry continues to grow," Hickenlooper said. "We want to protect public health, the environment and wildlife and to avoid duplication and conflict between different regulations of oil and gas activities. We expect these efforts to also help foster a climate that encourages responsible development and enhances existing cooperation and coordination between state and local government."
The issues that the Task Force will address include:
* Setbacks of oil and gas facilities or roads necessary for oil and gas operations from any building, public road, above-ground utility line, railroad, or water body, or other restrictions on the location of an oil or gas well and its related production facilities.
* Floodplain restrictions.
* Protection of wildlife and livestock.
* Noise abatement.
* Operational methods employed by oil and gas activities.
* Air quality and dust management.
* Traffic management and impacts.
* Fees, financial assurance and inspection.
"In establishing this task force, we have worked with a variety of stakeholders, including local government, industry, the environmental community, Speaker McNulty, President Shaffer and Majority Leader Morse," Hickenlooper said.
The Task Force will be chaired by Mike King, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The task force members will include: the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, or his or her designee; two members of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as determined by said Commission; the President of the Board of Directors of Colorado Counties Inc., or his or her designee who must also be a member of said organization; the President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Municipal League, or his or her designee who must also be a member of said organization; the Chief Executive of the Colorado Petroleum Association, or his or her designee; the Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, or his or her designee; the Executive Director of Colorado Conservation Voters, or his or her designee; one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; one member appointed by the President of the Senate; and the Colorado Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee.