The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission today preliminarily approved comprehensive new rules to limit the impact of drilling near residences and other occupied buildings. The set of rules are more rigorous than any in the country. These new rules combine stringent mitigation measures, expanded notice and outreach to local communities and heightened distances (called “setbacks”) between drilling and dwellings to further distinguish Colorado as a national leader with respect to oil and gas regulations.
Colorado’s new rules for setbacks and associated measures will protect the public health, safety and environment. The rules also set a new standard for the Rocky Mountain West as they exceed our neighboring states of Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas. Earlier this week the Commission also approved rules that are among the strongest in the country for monitoring and protection of groundwater. Only two other states have mandatory groundwater programs in place and no other state in the country requires operators to take post-drilling water samples.