The Colorado Springs Planning Commission on Thursday took a first look at the oil and gas regulations proposed by city staff.
The draft regulations outline how to fit oil and gas drilling into the city’s codes, but offered several options for approaching controversial issues such as zoning, water quality monitoring and review and approval for wells.
Planning commissioners appeared hesitant to challenge the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s authority over many areas of oil and gas regulation. Several other Colorado cities, most recently Longmont, have gotten into legal battles with the COGCC and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office over how much control local governments can assert over the industry.
“A lot of this language is very carefully constructed to balance the rights of the city with the rights of the state and the rights of the industry,” said Dick Anderwald, the city’s director of development services.
City Attorney Chris Melcher said the commission didn’t have to account for every possibility in crafting regulations for what is still so far only a potential industry.
“Do not make the perfect the enemy of the good,” he said. “We can come back in a year or two years if we need to.” MORE …