The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) held a hearing in Denver on Nov. 14 about new rules governing statewide baseline groundwater sampling and monitoring near new oil and gas wells.
Citizens for a Healthy Community director Jim Ramey attended and spoke at the hearing.
"Unfortunately, the environmental groups were slated to go last in the evening. We didn't even begin to make our presentation until about five o'clock," Ramey said. Overall the response from the commissioners was "that they were open to hear the environmental concerns we raised."
The commissioners are hoping to have a revised rule regarding groundwater sampling to review at their Dec. 10 meeting. The public and parties to the rulemaking can make comments at that time. The commissioners could vote at that meeting to approve a new rule.
On the following day, Dec. 11, the COGCC commissioners will begin to look at a new setback rule.
Citizens for a Healthy Community plans to attend both December meetings.
Even though the Nov. 14 meeting was specific to the groundwater issue, some members of the public were allowed to testify about setbacks. According to Ramey, Thomas Thompson from Rifle opened his remarks with this question, "Who here has a [gas] well 350 feet from their house?" Then Ramey said Thompson raised his hand and continued, "If you don't have one of these things 350 feet from your home, I don't care what your education is, but you don't know . . . what you are talking about."
Ramey said, "It was a very powerful statement that I think echoed with the commissioners." He added concerning a new setback rule, "There's really a long way to go on the rule that COGCC has proposed and what science tells us we ought to be considering."blog comments powered by Disqus