Rockpick’s Take: ConocoPhillips is one of the largest holders of leases in Arapahoe County, so if their operations exceed state standards then there is every reason to expect that their applications will be on the fast track.
Arapahoe County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a working agreement with the oil and gas industry that would allow the companies to fast track applications if they exceed new state standards.
Energy companies would need to sign a memorandum of understanding that outlines best practices and has tighter guidelines than new state regulations that start in August. The permitting process would then be expedited, Arapahoe County spokeswoman Haley McKean.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and not the cities or counties, would monitor the drilling process. Local governments, such as Arapahoe County, could set requirements that deal with what’s above the ground, such as noise, water and storage of waste water.
Similar agreements are being reached in other communities where oil and gas drilling — and especially horizontal drilling, or fracking — is happening or will happen in the future.
“That stuff down the hole, in most cases, is the jurisdiction of the state,” said Arapahoe County Commissioner Rod Bockenfeld. “Ours are mostly land-use responsibilities and anything involving health, safety and welfare.”
Read more:Arapahoe County OKs agreement to expedite fracking applications – The Denver Post