Regulatory Overview

The State of Colorado is a national leader in its commitment to fostering safe and responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas resources. Colorado has implemented precedent setting regulations from baseline groundwater testing and monitoring and pipeline safety to air regulations targeting methane leak detection and repair. This is a summary of significant legislative and regulatory efforts affecting Colorado’s oil and gas industry. Download the Regulatory Overview.

2013 – Wildlife Map Update Rulemaking

In July of 2013, the COGCC initiated a rulemaking to update state wildlife maps. On September 17, 2013, the COGCC formally adopted rules updating Sensitive Wildlife Habitat Maps and Restricted Surface Occupancy Maps. (See 1200 series rules & Appendix VII-VIII).[1] These maps contain the ranges of species of interest to the state of Colorado. Specifically, these maps contain data about species range, habitat, and known migration patterns. When new data is available, these maps are updated, often in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Keeping these maps updated provides state regulators with information to ensure that sen ... Read More »

2014 – Air Emissions from Oil and Gas

On February 23, 2014, following a five-day public hearing, Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted to adopt new precedent setting rules targeting air emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. These regulations fully adopted federal regulations (EPA’s NSPS OOOO) and added controls and strategies to reduce fugitive Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and hydrocarbon emissions from condensate tanks and other sources. This includes installation of emission control devices and implementation of leak detection and repair programs. These regulations became effective in the spring of 2014.[1] Key elements of these air qu ... Read More »

2015 – Enforcement and Penalty Rulemaking

On January 5, 2015, the COGCC approved rule changes that increased the penalties for operators in violation of commission regulations.[1] This rulemaking was spurred by a perception that the COGCC’s penalties were inadequate. In response to this concern, Executive Order D 2013-004 was issued in May 2013, directing the COGCC to review its enforcement program, penalty structure, and imposition of fines. The Commission provided its Enforcement and Penalty Policy Review to the Governor’s Office in December 2013. On June 6, 2014, House Bill 14-1356 amended the Act to strengthen the penalty authority of the Commission. The revisions to COGCC ... Read More »

2015 – Flood Lessons Learned Rulemaking

On September 9, 2013, a slow moving cold front stalled over Colorado, dropping record amounts of rainfall across 17 counties, and triggering a 100-year flood event. The oil and natural gas industry was prepared and able to respond to the flood immediately; opening incident command centers, shutting in wells, enacting emergency action plans, and activating around the clock monitoring and response at their facilities- all before the floodwaters started rising.  The majority of operators in the DJ Basin had little to no impact to their well sites with the operations impacted ranging from standing water to fast moving flood waters.   ... Read More »

2015 – Complainant Rulemaking

On July 20, 2015, the COGCC approved rule changes implementing a streamlined process for the public to submit complaints. The new online portal makes the agency’s methods for receiving, processing, addressing, closing and communicating complaints more effective and transparent. It includes guidance for making a complaint, what a complainant can expect and the rights of the complainant. A key component of this rulemaking was the definition of a new term "Petition for Review" which gives the commission authority to remand a petition back to the director if they disagree with it.  The Commission adopted a new process for review, initia ... Read More »