Dear Reclaiming Colorado Springs Meetup Members,
Here's an opportunity to do some Care for Mother Earth right from your desk. Below is a message from the Sierra Club about an important bill working its byzantine way through the State Legislature. As you'll see, the Sierra Club is urging folks to e-mail or phone their representatives to ask that they support the legislation as written. (The way to determine who your State representatives are is also included in the message below.)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Kirby Hughes <[address removed]>
> Date: Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:53 PM
> Subject: COGCC Rulemaking - Public Support Requested!
> To: [address removed]
> Hello Folks!
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rulemaking effort will enter the state legislative process on Friday, 3/6; we were only notified of this date *yesterday*.
The legislative process will be kicked off with an introduction of House Bill[masked] proposing acceptance of the new rules(amendments), in the Legal Services Committee, prior to going to the House, after which it'll return to the Legal Services Committee for a second review, and then it'll go to the Senate (as I understand the process). This entire routing will likely take up the remainder of the legislative session, and may even extend the session.
It's my understanding that *each* of the provisions of the proposed new rules will either be accepted or deleted; modifications will not be permitted.
The entire rulemaking effort has taken almost 2 years thus far, and the changes are involved, lengthy and have been discussed at great length. The proposed new rules represent a compromise between business, government, and personal interests. *The Sierra Club and most - if not all - of the environmental groups in Colorado support passage of the rules as they have been written.*
We are asking you to please e-mail, OR *CALL*, your state senator and state representative *IMMEDIATELY* and ask them to support passage of the HB[masked] *as written*. (If you need to find your representative and senator, House districts and representatives may be identified at http://comaps.org..., while Senate districts and senators may be found at http://comaps.org....)
We do not expect you to understand the details about the proposed rule amendments on this short notice(!), so below is a statement
of the purpose of the rule amendments, with some background, and an overview of the amended rules as promoted by the bill:
> *Brief Purpose and Background* (ref:> http://cogcc.stat..., see Final Statement of Basis and Purpose <http://cogcc.stat...;
A major reason for proposing to adopt these regulations was to address concerns created by the unprecedented increase in the permitting and production of oil and gas in Colorado in the past few years. In 2007, upon the urging and initiative of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the General Assembly passed legislation to increase the Commission���s regulatory authority and oversight obligations to better address the potential adverse impacts that can accompany oil and gas
The General Assembly declared that it is in the public���s interest to foster the *responsible, balanced *development of Colorado���s oil and gas resources consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, *including protection of the environment and wildlife resources*. The new rules comply with the legislative mandate to:
(1) foster oil and gas development consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the environment and wildlife resources;
(2) promote the conservation of wildlife habitat in connection with the development of oil and gas; and
(3) minimize adverse impacts to wildlife resources affected by oil and gas operations and ensure proper reclamation of wildlife habitat.
In order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public,
the COGCC staff developed the rules in consultation with the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). In order to minimize
adverse impacts to wildlife resources and ensure proper reclamation of
wildlife habitat, the COGCC staff developed the rules in consultation with
the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW). The COGCC staff also identified
existing rules to update in order to enhance clarity, respond to new
information, and reflect current practice and procedure.
*Overview of the Amended Rules*:
1) COGCC rule amendments do not allow the CDOW and CDPHE to dictate conditions for, or veto, permits.
> 2) Amendments ensure timely and efficient permitting.
> 3) Amendments promote enhanced protection of drinking water supplies.
> 4) Amendments provide additional protection for groundwater.
> 5) Amendments reduce odors and air emissions.
> 6) Amendments require operators to disclose more information about the chemicals used in drilling.
> 7) Amendments will do much to protect wildlife.
> 8) Amendments will protect private property rights.
> 9) Amendments will increase regulatory transparency and public involvement.
> 10) Amendments will not go into effect right away.
> 11) Amendments do not follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
> 12) Amendments do not allow for "risk-based" cleanups of contaminated sites.
> 13) Amendments should not reduce oil and gas development.
> Other useful detailed information can be found at:
> - Amended Rules (ref: http://cogcc.stat..., see
> COGCC Amended
> * Redline*)
> - Permitting Compliance (ref: http://cogcc.stat...,
> see *COGCC
> Permitting Handbook*)
> When contacting your legislators with your recommendation for approval of HB[masked], you might *also* mention one or more of the above 13 overview items as your primary reason(s) for supporting the bill, or you may examine the amended rules to find other information supporting your recommendation. (This isn't "rocket science" - it's a "numbers game" to get a lot of folks to contact their legislators in support of the bill.)
> THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for acting *quickly* on this issue!
> (I apologize for
> multiple e-mails being sent to some of you.)
> Kirby Hughes
> Sierra Club/RMC Mining, Oil & Gas Issues Chair
> 2725 Black Canyon Rd. Colo. Spgs, CO 80904
> PS - If you're *directly* affected by oil and gas
> drilling, please call me
> as we could be interested in getting your story (and we
> might even ask you
> to attend the Legal Services Committee hearing on *Friday*,
> with us.)
> From: [address removed] Action: REJECT