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Colo. county commissioners approve temporary moratorium on oil, gas applications

The board of commissioners in Adams County, Colo., approved a temporary moratorium on new applications for oil and gas facilities as it waits on a bill set to give local entities more regulatory authority over drilling and well locations.

The moratorium, which the board voted on at a March 20 special public hearing, became effective immediately and will last for six months or until further notice from the board, according to a news release.

Colorado Senate lawmakers recently passed State Senate Bill 19-181, which would reduce the authority of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and offload some of its responsibilities to local governments. The bill is currently under consideration in the Colorado General Assembly.

"Until we have more clarity on whether this current bill will pass and what impact it could have locally, the board decided to enact a temporary moratorium so we can evaluate any new tools available to address the health and safety of our residents," board Chair Steve O'Dorisio said in the release.

The board expects county staff to take roughly six months to evaluate the impacts of SB 19-181 and develop local oil and gas standards consistent with the potential new state law.