Policy: Taking O&G to the State

We presented a banner signed by residents to Matt Lepore, the director of the COGCC.

I’ve been thinking about how to affect change in oil & gas policy since Encana’s disasterous attempt to drill at the Pratt site in November of 2014. The current rules & regulations are inadequate to protect the health, safetly, and the right of residents to enjoy their own properties.

The Erie Protectors met with Matt Lepore, Director of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), in November of 2017 to discuss our recourse as citizens. His specific suggestion was to use the power of Rule 529 to propose changes to the COGCC rules.

To that end, as Trustee with a majority support of the Board1)This point is crucial; in my official capacity as Trustee, I would demand a majority support of the board before undertaking such an effort., I intend to bring two Rule 529 proposals to the COGCC this spring:

Repeal COGCC Regulation 802.b.(1)

This rule states:

This is the regulation that allowed Crestone Peak Resources to conduct business as usual at the Woolley Becky Sosa, Waste Connections, and Pratt sites despite hundreds of noise complaints. Under the current regulations, every one of these noise complaints was dismissed because the operator was below theĀ 80 dB(A) daytime limit or the 75 db(A) night time limit.

Removing this exemption would require these operators to adhere to the noise regulations in place for every other industry that operates in close proximity to homes.

Covered Transport for Drill Cuttings

During our 2-hour conversation with Matt Lepore, we also discussed the difficulty of establishing and enforcing rules regarding odor from oil & gas operations.

After hundreds of resident complaints and numerous COGCC field inspector visits, controversy over the source of the odors remained. Residents insisted they came from the well sites, COGCC Matt Lepore suggested they came from the Front Range Landfill. We agreed that the drill cuttings from these operations, whether located at the drill site or once disposed at Front Range Landfill, were the likely source. I propose this simple amendment to the current Drill Cuttings Policy:

During all phases of transport, loads carrying drill cuttings must be covered.

While the specific language will change, the intent is to contain the odors emanating from the diesel-based drilling muds contained in these cuttings so they do not cause a nuisance to residents and limit the potential health impacts to the communities in which these operators conduct business.

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1. This point is crucial; in my official capacity as Trustee, I would demand a majority support of the board before undertaking such an effort.

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