El Paso County, October 22, 2012 – The Board of El Paso County Commissioners has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) which the state agency will require the testing of nearby water wells as part of its permitting process for oil and gas exploration in El Paso County.
“The state is recognizing the concerns of the El Paso County Commissioners under the terms of this agreement it will incorporate the well testing requirements into its processing of drilling permits in El Paso County” said Diana May, who serves as El Paso County’s Local Government Designee with COGCS. “Adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding is a win-win, May continued. “It gives El Paso County residents the assurance that water quality testing will be required as part of the permit process and it meets the statewide objective to avoid the creation of conflicting patchwork of regulations by local government jurisdictions throughout the state.”
El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen, who represents most the area of the county where exploration permits have been issued says, “It’s important for residents to understand that drillers will still be required to perform testing on nearby wells before drilling, after exploration starts and yet again several years later to make sure that there is no impact on local wells. The only difference now is that the testing requirements are moved out of county land use and into state’s permit process.”
Commissioner Darryl Glenn, whose district also includes portions of eastern El Paso County, agrees. “This agreement represents successful negotiations between our Local Government Designee and the state regulators. Both sides came to the table and worked out an agreement that recognizes the legitimate concerns of El Paso residents as well as the state’s interest in preserving a uniform set of regulations. I congratulate Dianna May and appreciate everyone’s work on this.”
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will vote on approval of the El Paso County Memorandum of Understanding when it meets November 15th and will consider adding the El Paso County water testing requirements to its statewide regulations.
Contact: Dave Rose
Public Information Officer
Phone: 520-6540 Cell: 337-9239