Dear Editor:

At 10 a.m. Sept. 3, the

Delta County Commis-

sioners will hold a pub-

lic hearing on a propos-

al to make gas and oil

an exempt activity from

specific development

review and regulations.

The state recently

passed Senate Bill 181

which changes the pri-

ority from promoting

oil and gas to protect-

ing the health of peo-

ple, air and water. It also

gives local government

the authority to enact

protections above and

beyond the state’s mini-

mum requirements. Both

state and local govern-

ments are working hard

to revise regulations in

keeping with the new

priority.

Delta County’s current

regulations are outdat-

ed, confusing and inad-

equate. The members of

the county-appointed Oil

& Gas Working Group

have each put in many,

many hours of hard work

to come up with reason-

able and effective pro-

tections. However, those

regulations are not likely

to be adopted until later

this year, probably in the

fall.

While the state and

counties are working

to define the new pro-

cess, the wisest path is

to declare a temporary

moratorium on new per-

mits. Two counties and

six towns have already

done exactly that, with

the time ranging from

three to nine months.

Let’s not get rid of the

old protections until we

get new ones and, until

then, let’s call a timeout.

Written comments for

the commissioners must

be received by Sept. 3

at 501 Palmer, Ste 115,

Delta, CO, 81416, by

email at planning @delta

county.com or by fax at

970-874-2500.

Robert Riggs

Paonia

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