Last updated 10:44AM ET
December 17, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
County Gas Reg Changes Put To Another Hearing
(2008-04-15)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Regulations covering one of La Plata County's largest, and most controversial industries have been undergoing revisions for the last two years.
The latest draft of those changes went before the public last night, but only a few people showed up.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Land Use Regulations pertaining to Oil and Gas development in La Plata County were written decades ago, to give the county some muscle over things like health, safety, surface and environmental impacts of gas wells, pipelines and more.
The re-write of the local code, coincides with development of statewide oil and gas regulations covering many of the same issues.
Under state law, that rewrite must be completed by the state's oil and gas commission this summer.
The latest draft of local regulations, which doesn't face a deadline for approval, drew just over a dozen people to last night's public hearing.
Only two members of the public spoke, Jim and Terri Fitzgerald, who have one well on their Bayfield ranch and others nearby.
The Fitzgeralds for years have argued for greater protections for the public in dealings with powerful gas companies.
Jim Fitzgerald says the latest draft of the county regulations weakens that protection in several ways, including taking away the right for neighbors and other interested parties to appeal a gas wells placement.
FITZGERALD: A GAS WELL IS A BIG THING, AND MANY TIMES THE IMPACT IS MORE ON THE NEIGHBOR THAN IT IS ON THE SURFACE OWNER, BECAUSE SURFACE OWNERS, I WOULD TEND TO PUT THE WELL AS FAR AWAY FROM THEIR HOUSE AS POSSIBLE.
Fitzgerald says the county should adopt regulations that are tougher than the state to protect residents, and adopt them now.
The only other person to speak at the hearing disagrees.
Christi Zeller, with the industry backed La Plata County Energy Council, urged approval of the local regs be delayed until the state acts on their rules.
Zeller says there are too many conflicts between the proposed local and state codes.
ZELLER: SOUND, SETBACK, PITS, THAT'S WHY WE'D LIKE TO SEE IT WAIT. LET'S ALL WORK TOGETHER, SEE WHO'S GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING AND WHO WILL BE ENFORCING A LAND USE ISSUE FOR INSTANCE.
As it now stands, La Plata Oil and Gas Planner Krista Wilson says this latest draft of the local oil and gas regulations face approval as soon as early June by La Plata County Commissioners, who were present at last night's hearing.
But, Wilson says there could be even more changes to the code by then.
WILSON: THERE MIGHT BE, DEPENDING ON THE PUBLIC COMMENT WE RECEIVE BETWEEN NOW AND THEN. PUBLIC COMMENT HAS BEEN REOPENED UNTIL APRIL 30TH AND IF WE RECEIVE ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED OR THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT THERE COULD BE MORE CHANGES MADE.
The new statewide regulations are on track to be adopted by July 1st.
However, there's still a chance the legislature could intervene and extends that deadline.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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