Boulder’s Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has extended the existing moratorium on accepting and processing new oil and gas development applications and on seismic testing to July 31.
The moratorium was put in place to give BOCC staff time to review and update the county’s oil and gas regulations in light of the changes made to local authority by Colorado’s Senate Bill 19-181.
“It’s as simple as we want to protect people and listen completely to their thoughts and concerns as we create the strongest regulations possible,” said BOCC Vice Chairman Matt Jones. “This is an extremely complex issue, and we need the time to do it right.”
Written input from the public, as well as a staff presentation, supported extending the moratorium beyond the initial deadline of March 28, according to the BOCC. The change also allows staff and the public to turn attention to major rule rewrites happening at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission through the month of May.
“The impacts have such potential to affect Boulder county residents, public health, the environment, our open space and air quality, so we need to get this right,” said Commissioner Elise Jones. “We are not going to be able to do this justice or allow for adequate public review for these updated regulations under the current schedule, so I think this is a great case for extending the moratorium to July 31.”
Updates to the drafts and final regulations are to be available on the county website.