Conservation and community organizations respond to COGCC’s new draft rules to put health and safety first

DENVER – Today, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission [COGCC] released new draft rules to implement SB19-181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations. These rules are a critical step toward ensuring that, when it comes to oil and gas drilling in Colorado, the health and safety of communities, workers, wildlife and our environment always come first.

A large coalition of conservation and public health groups will review these draft rules in the coming days. We look forward to working with the COGCC to enact rules that put health, safety, the environment, and wildlife first. Two attorneys who are experts on oil and gas law in Colorado will be available today, Monday, March 16 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM to answer any questions.

Conservation and community leaders released the following statements in response to the draft rules:

“Coloradans worked for decades to ensure that health and safety would come before oil and gas industry profits. In 2019, our Colorado leaders delivered on their promise to protect what so many of us love about this state by passing SB181. We look forward to working with the COGCC to put effective rules in place.”

      – Kelly Nordini, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado

“Drilling and fracking for oil and gas impacts our air, water and land in Colorado. With dangerous operations in people’s backyards, near their homes and schools, it was clear that Colorado needed stronger protections to keep communities safe. New draft rules released by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are the result of years of work and grassroots organizing to ensure our state finally prioritizes health and safety. We look forward to reviewing the new rules and continuing to engage Coloradans to speak up for stronger protections from oil and gas.”

    – Emily Gedeon, Acting Chapter Director, Colorado Sierra Club

“Since SB181 was signed into law, we have worked diligently to represent impacted Coloradans. We have worked consistently to push the commission to draft rules that will put public health, safety, welfare, the environment, and wildlife resources first when it comes to oil and gas. We are hopeful they will indeed put people and our environment first. We encourage the commission to continue engaging and prioritizing the concerns and ideas of oil and gas impacted communities.”

      – Sara Loflin, Executive Director, League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans

“Protecting health, safety and the environment are vital considerations in regulating oil and gas in Colorado, and we are excited to see that reflected in this rulemaking. The Commission must take the need to protect birds and other wildlife seriously, and Audubon looks forward to ensuring that happens.” 

      – Nada Culver, Vice President, Public Lands, National Audubon Society

“Western Coloradans have worked for decades to win stronger protections for landowners in the face of irresponsible oil and gas development. SB181 gave us hope that the health, safety and welfare of Colorado’s people and environment would finally come first in the oil and gas permitting process. We look forward to reading these draft rules with that new mandate in mind, ensuring they keep the vision of SB181 intact and working to see that these new protections become a reality in Western Colorado.”

      – Steve Allerton, President, Western Colorado Alliance