On April 1, 2016, Rep. Steve Lebsock and Sen. Mary Hodge introduced HB 16-1430 – Concerning the Implementation of a Recommendation of the Oil and Gas Task Force Regarding the Sharing of Oil and Gas Operators’ Development Plans with Affected Local Governments. The bill was assigned to the House Transportation & Energy Committee, where it was amended and referred for Second Reading with the House Committee of the Whole. The bill was again amended on Second Reading but passed Third Reading with no further amendments. It was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently promulgated several rules to implement two of the recommendations of the governor’s oil and gas task force. The bill codifies some of the essential elements of one of the recommendations.
First, the bill states a local government must register with the Commission a statement of its intent to be covered by the bill in order to be qualified to receive from oil and gas operators the information specified in the bill.
Second, each operator shall register with the Commission and with each registered local government in whose jurisdiction it has an approved drilling unit, a pending or approved permit to drill, or an application for a new or amended oil and gas location.
Third, an operator registers with a local government by: (1) complying with the registration process established by the local government; or (2) if no local registration process exists, delivering a current copy of its Commission registration to the local government.
Fourth, a registered local government may request a registered operator to provide the following information: (1) an estimate of the number of wells the operator intends to drill in the next five years; and (2) a map showing the location of the operator’s existing well sits, sites for which the operator has approved or has submitted applications for drilling, and potentially developable sites for which no application has been submitted.
Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.