Code changes seek to bring further clarity to permitting process

Published on November 09, 2021

Jason Maxey presenting to the Board of Commissioners.

The Weld County Board of Commissioners recently approved the first reading of code changes to Chapter 21 Areas and Activities of State Interest, specifically the 1041 Weld County Oil and Gas Location Assessment (WOGLA) process. The changes come after months of discussion between industry officials and Weld County Government.

“Our recommendations enhance our permitting and enforcement process with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, provide additional points of alignment with them and most importantly, continue to protect the health, safety and welfare of Weld County’s citizens and our environment,” said Jason Maxey, Director of Weld County’s Oil and Gas Energy Department. “By modifying our code slightly to be more in line with the state, we can reduce the confusion and burden currently being placed on those seeking permits.”

As proposed changes seek to align the WOGLA process with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), some of the major changes brought before the board 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 reduction to be adhered to during construction.

Before the changes are finalized, they first must pass second and third reading on November 17 and December 13. The changes build upon a Memorandum of Understanding signed in April between the board and the COGCC, which was designed to provide permit applicants with a greater understanding of how both WOGLA process and the COGCC’s Oil and Gas Development Plan would complement each other moving forward.

“While we believe strongly in our WOGLA process to provide clear requirements of those seeking permits, and in its ability to protect health, safety and welfare, it’s important to listen and learn how our process can be improved when possible,” Weld County Chair Steve Moreno said. “We believe these changes better serve the needs of the industry, without compromising the WOGLA’s original intent. Hopefully, they’ll result in a smoother permitting process between Weld County and the state.”

Learn more about proposed Chapter 21 code changes. To find out more about the Weld County Oil and Gas Energy Department, look under “government” then “departments” at www.weldgov.com.