DENVER — Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 — The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) today approved comprehensive new regulations addressing oversight of flowlines and related infrastructure associated with oil and gas development.
The nine-member commission unanimously approved the updated regulations following three days of testimony from the public, local governments, homebuilders, citizen groups, trade associations and members of the oil and gas industry on more than 20 pages of proposed new and amended rules.
“We believe these new rules are another important step in the aftermath of the Firestone tragedy,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “State government and local municipalities depend on the commitment that industry is doing everything to to keep our communities safe.”
The flowline rules take numerous steps to strengthen requirements for design, installation, maintenance, testing, tracking and abandoning flowlines. Flowlines describe the kinds of pipelines that most typically move fluids around specific oil and gas development locations from wells to separators to storage tanks or to larger pipelines.
The new rules include dozens of changes and improvements to flowline oversight, including:
The new flowline rules and enhanced participation by operators in 811 include three key components of state actions outlined by Gov. Hickenlooper following a three-month review of oil and gas operations last year. The review followed the home explosion in Firestone last April that killed two people and injured a third.
“Our work with operators last spring and summer to identify, quantify and test all flowlines near residential areas was a significant start,” said COGCC director Matt Lepore. “These rules – and additional actions ordered by the Governor that are still unfolding – continue to keep our focus on this work.”
The final draft of the proposed rules can be found here, and an overview of the COGCC’s basis and purpose for the rules here. The latter provides context and analysis for the rulemaking. All documents associated with the rulemaking, including formal statements from parties to the hearing, are housed here.
The Commission also directed COGCC staff to empanel a stakeholder group representing a cross-section of interests to review current and developing instrument-based technologies and methods for preventing or detecting leaks and spills from flowlines. COGCC staff will present to the Commission quarterly on the group’s progress with a final presentation of the results of the stakeholder group’s study, along with any associated recommendations for changes to COGCC’s policies or rules, within a year.
The flowline rulemaking is the latest in a consistent and long-running effort to strengthen the regulatory oversight of the COGCC, dating to 2008.
The COGCC, under the Hickenlooper Administration, has crafted rules to increase distances between drilling and neighborhoods; reduce the effects of light, noise and odors; protect groundwater; reduce air emissions in partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; disclose hydraulic fracturing chemicals; tighten requirements for spill reporting; significantly elevate penalties for operators violating Commission rules; toughen requirements for operating in floodplains; and amplify the role of local governments in siting large operations near communities.
The Commission has also significantly expanded inspection, engineering, reclamation, and environmental staff; increased ease of access and the volume of data available to the public; intensified collaboration with local governments; sponsored ongoing studies to increase understanding of impacts to air and water; and adopted several formal policies to address health, safety, and environmental issues brought about by new technologies, all while experiencing an unprecedented increase in oil and gas development in Colorado.
December 2017: The December 2017 edition features a member partnership to promote 811 at nationally televised NCAA basketball games and provides a member’s perspective on the value of volunteering for a CGA committee. This month’s edition also highlights member events held throughout the country to promote 811 and the safe digging process.
There were approximately 379,000 excavation damages in 2016 which cost the United States in excess of $1.5 billion. – DIRT Annual Report for 2016
Learn practical strategies for reducing damages by attending the
2018 CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo
Are you committed to preventing damages?
Join us for the largest event in the underground damage prevention industry.
82% of surveyed attendees believe the information obtained will help them implement change at work
Check out these networking opportunities for 2018:
Join the Weld County Damage Prevention Council for the 18th annual Damage Prevention Awareness Breakfast on February 7, 2018. Speakers will discuss the current state of safety culture and One Call legislation changes. RSVP by January 26, 2018. Various sponsorships are available, booth fees are $150 and include a 6-foot table and chairs, $500 for large equipment, such as vac truck.
Our sincere apologies…
As you may know, this coming Saturday is Veterans Day and all Federal Holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the Friday prior to the Saturday. All locate ticket requests received today, November 9th will be due by end of day on Tuesday, November 14th.
All locate ticket requests processed yesterday Wednesday, November 8th with a locate by date of Friday, November 10th should have been dated as a locate by date of Monday, November 13th.
We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused. The issue has been resolved in our system and will not happen again.
For questions regarding this issue please contact 811 directly. Thank you for your patience in dealing with this matter.
Congratulations to the following nominees who were elected to be on the 2017/2018 Colorado 811 Board of Directors:
Electric Distribution: Brad Vitale, Xcel Energy
Cable Television: Frank Trujillo, Comcast
Electric Cooperative: Cody O’Neil, Holy Cross Energy
Communications: Thomas Sturmer, Century Link
Government: Gary Behlen, Town of Erie
Tier Two: Eddie Hernandez, Denver Water
Excavator Director: Toni Pascal, Pascal Construction Company
To contact any of the Colorado 811 Board of Directors, click here.
The CGA Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee (DREC) met to discuss changes to the 2018 DIRT Field Form. The purpose of the 2018 DIRT changes are to streamline, encourage more participation, respond to user community feedback, clarify questions and enhance analysis.
To view the detailed presentation of the 2018 changes and enhancements, click here.
Click here to learn more about Colorado DIRT.