State water quality officials are recommending that regulations of stormwater runoff from oil and gas construction sites remain on the books.
The proposal comes despite the industry's belief that the rules conflict with the federal energy bill. Industry groups put a lawsuit on hold earlier this year in hopes that the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission would revise the rules.
But staffers released recommendations today that oil and gas construction sites from one to five acres should stay under the purview of the state water quality control division. The Water Quality Control Commission -- a policy making body -- will consider the plan during a hearing on January ninth.
Industry groups want another state agency to regulate the stormwater runoff. They believe that agency should be the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission -- which regulates other aspects of the industry.
Industry officials say to do otherwise would conflict with the federal energy bill -- which exempts oil and gas from similar federal rules.
Supporters of leaving the oversight with water-quality regulators include several counties and cities in western Colorado -- where wide-scale natural gas drilling is going on.