Adams County approves new oil and gas regulations after 6-month moratorium on new development

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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — After a six-month moratorium on new oil and gas applications, Adams County Commissioners voted to approve updated oil and gas regulations Tuesday afternoon, which include the addition of 1,000-foot setbacks from occupied buildings.

The goal of the regulations, according to meeting documents, was to bring the county in line with SB 181, which gave counties more control in regulating oil and gas.

The bill prompted several counties to place a moratorium on permits for new oil and gas development earlier this year while county staff worked to review how the changes would impact their regulation of oil and gas.

Adams County agenda Sept. 3

Adams County's regulations, according to meeting documents, may address land use, location and siting, water quality and source, air emissions and air quality, nuisance hazards like noise and dust, reclamation procedures and financial securities and insurance.

“Since counties and cities have been given authority over oil and gas development, our staff has been hard at work creating a set of regulations that is fair to the industry but also provides for the safety of our residents,” said Steve O’Dorisio, board chair, in a news release from the county. “It’s a tough line to toe, but we think these regulations balance the interests of all parties involved.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council and Colorado Oil and Gas Association released statements shortly after the decision, saying the revisions to the county's regulations "exceed (the) scope of (the) new state law" and are "unreasonable."

"We appreciate Adams County’s consideration and removal of some of the more egregious standards that had originally been proposed, and look forward to continuing discussions in the weeks and months ahead," said Lynn Granger, executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council, in the release. "We do, however, have deep concerns with the code as approved today, and believe that many of the provisions contained within these new rules and regulations will significantly hinder future natural gas and oil development within the county."

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