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Colorado Speeds Up Processing of Oil, Gas Complaints

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on Friday introduced a streamlined process for handling public complaints tied to oil and natural gas development.

COGCC officials said the new process is designed to make it easier for citizens to file complaints, while improving the agency's ability to handle those complaints. It is supposed to improve the communications and transparency of the complaint process, they said.

The process can now be completed on the COGCC website. Including on the new page are three sections:

  • A newly developed tool to file the complaint online;
  • Complaint filing guidance, noting that any formal complaint must be in written format; and
  • A question and answer section that includes an explanation of the rights of a formal complainant.

In the past four years, COGCC has developed rules on wellsite setbacks, reduced nuisance impacts, groundwater protections, emissions, hydraulic fracturing chemicals and spill reporting, and recently increased penalties for operator violations of state rules (see Daily GPIJan. 5).

"The commission also has significantly expanded oversight staff, intensified collaboration with local governments, sponsored ongoing studies to increase understanding of impact to air and water, and adopted several formal policies to address health and safety issues brought about by new technologies and increased energy development," a COGCC spokesperson said.

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