Press Statement: COGCC Mission Change Rules to Protect Public Health & Safety and Wildlife Take Effect

DENVER — Today, the Mission Change rules unanimously approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in November 2020 took effect, providing new protections for public health and safety and wildlife from oil and gas development. Coloradans will receive new protections from oil and gas development, including:

  • A new 2,000-foot setback from Coloradans’ homes and schools;
  • Increased protections for Disproportionately Impacted Communities;
  • Comprehensive protections for Colorado’s wildlife and habitat;
  • A ban on routine venting and flaring;
  • Expanded protections for water supplies, including greater testing and reporting requirements; and,
  • Robust Cumulative Impacts and Alternative Location Analysis requirements.

Next, the COGCC should finalize updates to its financial assurance and reclamation rules in 2021 to complete its implementation of Senate Bill 19-181.

In response to today’s historic outcome, Public Lands Advocate for Conservation Colorado Beau Kiklis released the following statement:

“Coloradans have long advocated for the changes to our oil and gas rules that take effect today. The COGCC’s work is not finished, but Coloradans’ health, safety, and wildlife are better protected now than they were before our leaders took action.

“Thank you to Governor Polis, the Department of Natural Resources, and the COGCC for making the vision of putting public health and safety ahead of oil and gas industry profits into concrete policy. We look forward to continuing our engagement at the COGCC in 2021 to protect health and safety.”