1041 WOGLA code changes finalized
Published on December 16, 2021
The Weld County Board of Commissioners took another step toward providing clarity and consistency for oil and gas operators Monday when it approved the third and final reading of code changes to Chapter 21 Areas and Activities of State Interest, specifically the Weld Oil and Gas Location Assessment (WOGLA) process. The approved changes reflect the latest effort to align the county’s permitting process with that of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in hopes of increasing the speed at which permits are reviewed and reducing the confusion of those seeking permits.
“Now that the COGCC regulations have been in place for almost a year, it’s my hope that by slightly aligning our WOGLA code more with the state we can alleviate some of the bumps we’ve seen between the two permitting processes,” said Jason Maxey, Director of the Weld County Oil and Gas Energy Department. “It’s really been a process of comparing similarities and differences between our process and the state’s and deciding if there’s a way to either align them or make slight changes to make the process less onerous on oil and gas operators.”
While most of the modifications are small and deal with language, repetition or placement within Chapter 21, the major changes approved by the board across a three-reading process include:
- Expanding the 1041 WOGLA notification zone from 1,000 to 2,000 feet meaning people within 2,000 feet of the area intended to be disturbed for oil and gas activity will be notified during the permit process.
- Allowing a solar energy facility, no more than 10 acres in size, to be present at an oil and gas facility provided it offsets the power used by that facility.
- Submission of a lighting plan to be followed during the construction phase of a facility. Language was also added to provide attainable levels of noise allowance to be adhered to during construction.
The goal of the approved changes is to create a streamlined approval process between the county and the state. Following the enaction of COGCC regulations on January 15, 2021, Maxey said operators granted a WOGLA permit have faced delays when seeking permits from the state. The goal moving forward, Maxey said, is to get to the point where conditions met in a WOGLA are acknowledged and accepted by the COGCC without delay.
“We believe in our WOGLA process and in its ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and environment,” Weld County Chair Steve Moreno said. “These changes strengthen that process and, once again, reflect our desire to ensure we do what we can to reduce the confusion and workload of those looking to drill in Weld County.”
The Chapter 21 changes officially go into effect on Christmas Eve. To find out more about the Weld County Oil and Gas Energy Department, look under “government” then “departments” at www.weldgov.com.