El Paso Countystaff will begin reviewing draft regulations for local oil and gas regulations Thursday, planner Craig Dossey said this week during a joint meeting of county commissioners and Colorado Springs City Council members.
Outside agencies related to the industry and stakeholders will receive copies for review and comment Oct. 31.
Comments will be accepted through mid to late November. The county’s planning commission then will issue a recommendation to the board of county commissioners, which will finalize and adopt land use regulations in late December or mid-January.
Commissioners enacted a four-month moratorium on new drilling permits on Sept. 29, to give staff time to develop local land use regulations after it appeared imminent that energy development companies were planning large-scale exploration.
While the state licenses and regulates many aspects of the industry, local jurisdictions can impose their own set of rules, and Dossey defended the decision to do so.
“The state regulates extensively in certain areas — the drilling process, construction, the exploration and production, design of onsite pits, the waste management — but is silent on issues regarding local roads,” he said.
And while the state regulates some of the activities related to environmental damage, Dossey said, “we think there’s still room in terms of air and water quality monitoring.”
The draft regulations will address a host of issues surrounding exploratory drilling and production, including road impacts, setbacks, water supply, lighting, noise, drainage, erosion control, trash and debris, asthetics, site security, environmental impacts, air and water quality monitoring, floodplains, dust and odor control, emergency response and more.
Commission Chairwoman Amy Lathen will host a public town hall meeting, 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 5 at Peyton High School, 13885 Bradshaw Road, to discuss the county’s oil and gas regulation process.