Commission tells energy-rich Weld County that state rules come first

DENVER — Regulators have warned the biggest oil- and gas-producing county that local officials can’t establish regulations more lenient than the state’s, even though the Legislature passed a law this year giving local governments additional authority over well locations.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission told Weld County officials in a letter on Monday that the commission still regulates the industry.

The Weld County commissioners last month established a county oil and gas department to issue permits and regulate drilling in unincorporated areas of the county.

Weld County Attorney Bruce Barker told The Denver Post the new law gives the state oversight over technical aspects of drilling but that other aspects are now left to local governments.

Barker says that includes how far wells must be located from buildings.

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