COGCC adopts new protective flowline rules

Last Thursday, Colorado regulators approved a set of measures to increase public safety and awareness, including providing public access to a detailed state map of flowline locations and ensuring flowlines are abandoned in a least-impactful manner.

The COGCC has completed the first rulemaking under Senate Bill (SB) 19-181, which COGCC Chair Dan Gibbs said is on the critically important topic of flowlines, as part of the regulations on oil and gas to protect public health, safety, the environment and wildlife.

“I was proud to join the other commissioners to adopt rules that provide greatest transparency for the public and communities on where flowlines are located and enhanced protective measures on abandoning or where appropriate, removing flowlines to ensure public safety,” said Mr Gibbs.

SB 19-181 directed the commission to engage in rulemaking that will: allow public disclosure of flowline information, determine when a deactivated flowline requires reinspection, and consider its inactive well and flowline rules.

COGCC Director Jeff Robbins said the commission is committed to an open, transparent rulemaking process that engages all stakeholders.

“We worked with environmental, industry, local government, homeowners and other stakeholders from across the state in a collaborative manner to arrive at sensible solutions that will deliver stronger protections and more accurate and publicly available mapping information, and help to increase public safety as a result of this flowline rulemaking,” said Mr Robbins.

The rulemaking was prompted by a 2017 fatal home explosion in Firestone, Colorado that was caused by a long-abandoned flowline still connected to an operated well.

For more information visit the COGCC website.

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