Routt County hosts state energy officials |

Routt County hosts state energy officials

— Routt County officials will meet with a representative of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in a public hearing Tuesday night to address an expanded list of conditions the county is considering adding to existing requirements for special-use permits for energy exploration.

Commission Chairman Doug Monger said Monday that members of the public will be able to ask specific questions about the conditions being contemplated.

The commissioners, Planning Director Chad Phillips, County Attorney John Merrill and Assistant County Attorney Erick Knaus have had a series of meetings to discuss how the expanded conditions compare with criteria already applied to new drilling permits issued by the COGCC at the state level.

The original county list ran the gamut from regulating noise pollution to establishing criteria for baseline water quality testing before any drilling would be allowed. Suggestions for additions to the list were generated with input from a group of residents, some with professional expertise in the field, who were appointed in late December to an oil and gas working group.

The county commissioners and interested residents met representatives of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment on Jan. 31 and were told that state law gives responsibility to the COGCC for overseeing water quality where it is related to energy exploration.

The COGCC has been in transition since the beginning of February when its director, David Neslin, resigned, and Monger said he was not certain which official the agency would send to Routt County on Tuesday.

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To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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