Posting Editorial: This article while not specific to the Niobrara is however if interest because some Colorado Counties are making their presence known to both the Oil Companies and State regulators that the counties and their residents want to be part of the oil exploration process. Recently both Elbert and Douglas counties have posted new/updated draft Oil & Gas regulations.
The Associated Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Colorado oil and gas regulators are questioning El Paso County’s decision to impose a four-month moratorium on drilling permits after county officials were warned about plans for large-scale drilling in the county.
Dave Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said regulators do not believe a local moratorium is appropriate. He said the state provides sufficient regulation and local officials did not discuss the temporary ban with the commission.
Under state law, counties can set land use regulations to address such issues as setbacks, environmental aspects and site safety. They also are worried about impacts to roads and ensuring adequate and safe water supplies.
The state regulates drilling and extraction activity that happens beneath the surface.
El Paso County has no local rules. Staff members warned the county commission last week that an undisclosed energy company was considering setting up large-scale exploration pad sites soon.
The story was first reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
County officials say the four-month suspension would give county leaders more time to create local land use regulations and set up a permit process.