Fact Check: Do new rules regulating Colorado oil and gas pipelines significantly expand the state's oversight authority?
Claim: Colorado approved new rules significantly expanding the state’s oversight of oil and gas pipelines and pushing Colorado once again to the forefront of oil and gas regulations nationwide.
Fact: True. The new rules expand the routine testing requirements to cover the smallest pipelines that had previously been exempted, addresses the processes for abandoning pipelines, and require energy companies to work more closely with the “811-Call Before You Dig” system that’s used to locate known underground lines — including oil and gas, cable, telephone and fiber — before a homeowner or bulldozer digs into the ground. Also required is a “Form 44,” which provides information about pipelines associated with specific wells, including their location. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore said state officials will have much more oversight of pipelines “that exist in any other state.”
Colorado has been at the forefront of oil and gas regulations. It was the first state in the nation to regulate methane emissions and the first to require water sampling before and after drilling. Colorado also led the way in requiring comprehensive public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing treatments.