Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore steps down

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DENVER — The director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is resigning effective March 2 to return to the private sector.

Matt Lepore has led the commission since August 2. He will be joining private energy consulting firm Adamantine Energy. The agency he’s leaving regulates the state’s oil and gas industry.

“Matt performed one of the most demanding jobs in state government. He did so with style and substance that provided calm over an area often at the center of controversy,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement.

“Matt always put safeguarding public safety and the environment first. Under his leadership, Colorado developed regulations that have been used as models across the country.”

The agency under Lepore’s leadership made regulatory changes to increase distances between drilling and neighborhoods; reducted the effects of light, noise and odors; protected and monitored groundwater; and overhauled requirements for design, installation, maintenance, testing, tracking and abandoning flow lines.

“Leading this agency has been the professional privilege and challenge of a lifetime,” Lepore said. “We benefit from the participation of so many outstanding citizens, industry representatives and COGCC staff and commissioners, working together in good faith through the inherently difficult issues that can arise in balancing increasing energy production within a growing state.

“We have made it a priority to engage with a broad range of stakeholders to forge durable regulatory solutions.  The resulting regulations have often been held up as national and even international examples of effective oil and gas regulation.”

Julie Murphy, the assistant director for energy and minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources has been appointed as the new director.

“Julie brings a steady hand to the agency helm,” COGCC board chairman John Benton said. “Her experience, intellect and equable nature will serve her — and our state — well.”

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