COGCC requires prompter spill reporting

Oil and gas companies will have to report smaller spills sooner under new rules approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission today.

The commission unanimously adopted a requirement requiring reporting within 24 hours of all spills of five barrels or more. That requirement previously applied to spills of 20 barrels or more. A barrel is 42 gallons.

The COGCC implemented the change while also formally adopting into its rules a bill approved earlier this year that requires reporting within 24 hours of all spills of a barrel or more that occur outside secondary containment such as metal or earthen berms. That requirement took effect Aug. 7.

Previously, spills of between five barrels and 20 barrels had to be reported within 10 days, with no reporting requirements for smaller spills except in certain circumstances.

“The rules continue to require reporting within 24 hours of any spill that impacts or threatens to impact waters of the state, any occupied structure, livestock, a public byway or surface water supply area,” the state Department of Natural Resources said in a news release today.

COGCC director Matt Lepore said in the release, “These are important improvements to our spill reporting requirements and improve our ability to track and respond to spills and releases across Colorado. These regulations will improve the public’s confidence in our ability to protect public health, safety and our environment.”


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