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Oil And Gas Commission Study Methane Seepage Raton Basin

Concerning methane seepage in the Raton basin of Colorado, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission to complete a study and making an appropriation.
2023 Regular Session
Bill Summary

The bill requires the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission (commission) and the water quality control division (division), in consultation with local governments, to perform a study that:

  • Recognizes Identifies best management practices for capturing methane seepage in the Raton basin;
  • Confirms Evaluates the high quality of water resulting from such methane capture operations; and
  • Confirms Evaluates the high potential to preserve and make beneficial use of such water.

The primary objectives of the study are to:

  • Proactively and systematically locate and survey methane gas seepage in the Raton basin;
  • Document previous areas of seepage;
  • Calculate any differences in seepage amounts; and
  • Assess the potential for methane to create hazardous conditions.

The study must include:

  • A ground and air survey to identify suspected seepage areas, previous seepage areas, and increases or decreases in seepage;
  • Detailed mapping of suspected seepage areas;
  • Sampling and analysis of gas collected from selected seepage areas; and
  • Sampling and analysis of water from selected water wells and methane capture wells in the Raton basin.

In performing the study, the commission and the division shall coordinate with:

  • The Colorado energy office;
  • The division of water resources in the department of natural resources (department);
  • The division of mining, reclamation, and safety in the department;
  • The division of parks and wildlife created in the department; and
  • Local governments, including the boards of county commissioners in Las Animas and Huerfano counties.

The commission must complete the study and submit it to legislative committees of reference by December 1, 2023.

The bill also requires the commission to implement a regulatory category for methane recovery in the Raton basin, which category includes consideration of enforcement, financial assurance, flow lines, forms, operator guidance, orphan well programs, rules, and policies and allows for beneficial uses deemed prudent by local governments.For the 2023-2024 state fiscal year, the bill appropriates $424,500 to the department from the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund, for use by the commission.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

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