EARTHWORKS

Oil and Gas Noise

Noise protections for landowners weakened - Colorado Oil and Gas Commission caves to industry's wishes (September, 2006)

One of the most hardfought provisions of the noise rule passed in December, 2005 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, i.e., a requirement to reduce oil and gas noise to 45 decibels in rural, agricultural and residential areas, was struck down at a hearing held on September 18, 2006.

Despite the testimony of several affected landowners, and information indicating that industry could afford to reduce noise to the 45 decibel level, the Commissioners caved to industry's wishes, and overturned the earlier decision to lower noise in rural, agricultural and residential areas. Although this protection was lost, there are still some provisions in the new noise rule that are favorable to landowners in Colorado. Read a summary of how the how the December, 2005 rule benefits landowners

Industry allowed to proceed with challenge of the new Colorado noise rule (February, 2006)

At a hearing held February 13, 2006, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association requested that the COGCC re-open the recently enacted noise rule, and allow them to challenge the provision that requires industry to reduce noise levels in residential areas to 45 decibels (dBA). Many citizens protested this request, and OGAP and the San Juan Citizens Alliance argued that the industry had ample opportunity to raise their issues at the hearings when the noise rule was debated last year. In the end, however, industry won the right to challenge the 45 dBA provision because the COGCC failed to properly advertise the rule. The noise rule hearing will be held in either September or October of 2006. If the industry is unable to convince the Commissioners to change the 45 dBA provision, it will take effect on January 1, 2007, and apply to new oil and gas operations, as planned.

New Colorado noise rule challenged by the Colorado oil and gas industry (January, 2006)

Noise from oil and gas drilling and production is a significant issue for many landowners living in close proximity to these developments. In December of 2005, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) amended Rule 802, making it one of the most stringent noise regulations for oil and gas operations in the country. This was a major victory for landowners across the state.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry group, will be at the February, 2006 COGCC hearing, asking the Commissioners to reconsider the new rule. COGA wants to do away with one of the most important provisions of the new noise rule, which is the reduction to 45 dBA in residential/rural/agricultural areas. Read COGA's submission.

New Colorado noise rule a victory for landowners (December, 2005)


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