State Senate confirms interim COGCC appointments

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The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) announced Monday that the Colorado Senate has confirmed the volunteer commissioners appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to implement SB 19-181.

SB 181, signed into law in April 2019 by Gov. Jared Polis, shifts the mission of the COGCC from “fostering” oil and gas production to “regulating” the industry, with a priority given to impacts on community health and the environment and greater provisions for local control.

The COGCC has been in the formal rulemaking process since late last year, and expects to conclude that process this spring.

The new law seated an interim volunteer board, with members having agricultural, environmental, oil and gas industry, local government, public health, wildlife and technical expertise.

According to a COGCC press release issued Monday, those terms expire at the end of June, and the COGCC’s first professional commission will replace the current all-volunteer commission in July. Applications are currently being accepted for those appointments, to be appointed by the governor, with the Senate’s consent.

The Professional Commission is to include the executive directors of both the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Public Health and Environment as ex officio non-voting members. The other five commissioners are to include a member with substantial experience in the oil and gas industry; planning or land use; environmental protection, wildlife protection or reclamation; public health; and, “ability to contribute to the commission’s body of expertise that will aid the commission in making sound, balanced decisions,” according to the press release.

Serving on the interim board have been:

• Denver lawyer Erin Alene Overturf, to serve as a member with formal or substantial experience in environmental protection (Democrat).

• Denver lawyer Howard Lawrence Boigon, to serve as a member with substantial experience in the oil and gas industry (Democrat).

• Gunnison County Commissioner John August Messner, to serve as a member representing local government and as a member west of the Continental Divide (Democrat).

• Liane Rachel Jollon of Durango, to serve as a member with formal training or substantial experience in public health and as a member west of the Continental Divide (Unaffiliated).

• Mark David Hopkins of Broomfield, to serve as a member with technical expertise relevant to the issues considered by the commission (Republican).

• Pamela Pride Eaton of Boulder, to serve as a member with formal or substantial experience in wildlife protection (Democrat).

• Brenda Ann Haun of Grover, to serve as a member actively engaged in agriculture or royalty ownership (Unaffiliated).

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