News & Alerts

May 9, 2019 COGCC REDLINE OF 500-SERIES AMENDMENTS RELEASED FOR JUNE 17-18, 2019 RULEMAKING HEARING

On May 9, 2019, COGCC Hearing Manager Mimi Larsen issued draft revisions to the COGCC 500-Series Rules for a June 17-18, 2019 Rulemaking hearing. The intent of this first Rulemaking is to incorporate Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) as decision-makers at the Commission level, and to codify the evidentiary requirements of spacing and pooling applications from SB19-181. The scope of the Rulemaking is as follows:

 

  • The proposed amendments give ALJs the authority to adjudicate matters that are heard before the Commission, including by issuing recommended orders that become the decision of the Commission if they are not appealed (via an Exception) within 20 days of service
  • All applications filed with the COGCC will be automatically assigned to an ALJ or a Hearing Officer; the Commission staff must prepare an evaluation of all applications, which may include a recommendation on the merits of an application – this evaluation or recommendation will be part of the administrative record to be considered by the Commission, ALJ, or Hearing Officer
  • The requirement to file applications at least 90 days prior to the scheduled hearing date has been stricken – in its place, the proposed amendments provide that applications will be docketed for hearing before the Commission, ALJ or Hearing Officer and the date of hearing will depend on hearing availability
  • The notice requirements for applications remain unchanged
  • For uncontested applications, the applicant may request approval without a hearing based on an ALJ’s or Hearing Officer’s review of the merits of the application and supporting Rule 511 testimony; if the Director does not recommend approval without a hearing, the applicant may request an administrative hearing before an ALJ or Hearing Officer
  • Rule 511 filing is due 30 days after notice of an adjudicatory proceeding (notice remains at 60 days before hearing)
  • Rule 511 must include “Sworn written testimony of relevant witnesses verifying land, geologic, and engineering, public health, safety, welfare, environment and wildlife facts and accompanied by attachments or exhibits that adequately support the relief requested in the application, along with resumes/curricula vitae for each witness”
  • Authorizes ALJs to adjudicate enforcement actions and to recommend Administrative Orders by Consent (AOC) – the proposed amendments provide that AOCs become the decision of the Commission within 20 days after service unless the Commission stays the recommended AOC by its own motion
  • Codifies the 45% and good faith lease offer mandates of SB19-181 into Rule 530.a. for pooling applications
  • The consent agenda rule has moved from Rule 520 to a new Rule 531
  • A new Rule 532 is added to address interim decisions, recommended orders, and exceptions; interim decisions are not subject to exceptions; recommended orders by an ALJ become a final agency action if no exceptions are filed within 20 days; if an exception is filed to a recommended order of an ALJ, the recommended order is stayed until the Commission rules