Colorado’s rules governing the hydraulic fracturing process (“fracking,” or “frac’ing”) used in natural gas drilling is the subject of an independent review that is going on right now. A public meeting on the subject is also scheduled today.
The independent group STRONGER (State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations) is conducting the review at the Colorado State Land Board offices.
The review panel consists of one industry representative, one state regulator and one member of the environmental community. The group will summarize its review and issue a written report, including any recommended improvements to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rules, within 60 to 90 days. That report will be made available to the public.
“They [STRONGER] go around and do audits of state oil and gas regulatory programs, and they have guidelines for what they believe an appropriate regulatory program should have from an environmental and health and safety standpoint,” said COGCC Executive Director David Neslin. “They have been doing reviews focused on hydraulic fracturing for the last six, nine months beginning last summer.”
STRONGER has already conducted reviews of the fracking rules in Oklahoma, Ohio, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.
COGCC’s Neslin points out that the disclosure of fracking chemicals won’t solve the biggest problems facing regulators, including pit and pipeline leaks and poor cement casing jobs. Some of the largest fines against drilling companies have been handed down because of those issues, which he insists should be the focus of enforcement operations.
Updated by Staff