News & Alerts


On May 16, 2019, COGCC Director Robbins held an Operator Meeting to present the adopted Director Objective Criteria required by SB19-181. These Criteria will be formally utilized to continue to hold Forms 2, 2A and other permits for additional Director review if the permit falls into any one or more of the 16 Criteria. In addition to the Criteria, the COGCC issued a second Operator Guidance Document to address specific implementation of the Objective Criteria process.

The adopted Objective Criteria are as follows:

    1. Locations within 1500’ of a Building Unit (BU) or High Occupancy BU, including UMA and LUMA locations; measured from edge of disturbed location (more protective)
    2. Locations within a municipality; allows a “gut check” with the municipality, even if they have already approved the location – See Guidance Page 4: a municipality can elect in writing to exempt itself from Criteria #2 and #3
    3. Locations within 1500’ of a municipal boundary, platted subdivision, or county boundary; Robbins clarified that the “Relevant Local Government” has siting authority, but the criteria addresses potential cumulative impacts for additional review; Robbins will give heightened scrutiny to comments from the Relevant Local Government
    4. Locations within 2000’ of a school property line; goes beyond the current Rules that require notice within ¼ mile (1,320’); elevates this Criteria and allows greater coordination with the school – mandated by the Act to elevate current regulations
    5. Locations within: a) flood plain or flood way; b) identified public drinking water supply; c) sensitive area for water resources
    6. Locations within a CPW, RSP or SWH or receiving CPW comments; operators should be used to this review and should be able to proactively work with this criteria; wildlife maps will be updated on the COGCC website
    7. Locations within 1,000’ of a Designated Outdoor Activity Area (DOAA) (3 existing as of now within CO); Rules set a 350’ setback from a DOAA, and this Criteria elevates the review to 1000’
    8. Locations with storage of hydrocarbons or produced liquid in more than 18 tanks or in excess of 5,200 barrels; provides enhanced review for locations with large tanks/storage; looking at cumulative impacts and making sure plans are in place for releases, emergency response, truck routs, etc.
    9. Locations where operator is using a bond pursuant to Rule 703 for access to surface; the SUA Criteria has been deleted; just looking at bond-on locations to ensure that productive conversations have occurred with the Surface Owner prior to bond-on
    10. Locations where Relevant Local Government or state agency requests additional consultation – this is derived from the Act
    11. Locations where Operator requests a 502.b Variance for an associated permit application; Rule 502.b Variances have always been scrutinized and subject to the Director’s approval – these locations will be flagged to ensure a robust process
    12. Locations with an access road (from public road to OGL) within an RSO, SWH or 317B buffer zone, or within 200’ of a BU (“on lands not subject to an SUA” has been stricken) – the incorrect Criteria was passed out, an updated Criteria is posted on the website
    13. Proposed Centralized E&P Waste Management Facility – subject to higher level of scrutiny
    14. A request to vent/flare (Form 4) from a location within 1,500’ of a BU or HOBU or within Nonattainment Area; emissions negatively impact public health, safety, environment; additional notifications or timing stipulations may be implemented
    15. Intent to plug (Form 6) for a well associated with a stray gas investigation; public comment noted that plugging is in fact protective; Robbins affirmed that plugging should remain a priority and will move through the process quickly without delay; specific COA on Form 6 will include use of emission control during plugging operations, especially if it is close to BU’s; the stray gas component ensures that Staff has all of the analysis to finalize the stray gas investigation
    16. Locations proposed by an Operator subject to additional individual or blanket financial assurance requirements pursuant to Rule 702.a