The Elbert County Oil and Gas Interest Group (ECOGIG) Page
June 15, 2013
Hi All: This is a special issue about the Elbert County Oil and Gas Regulations:
The Water, Oil & Gas Report
We are heading for a milestone County Commissioners' meeting on Wednesday, June 26 at 9AM at the county
fairgrounds. The Planning Commission has APPROVED the draft Oil and Gas Regulations for Elbert County by a vote of 9 to ZERO
and sent them to the commissioners for a public hearing and potential approval. It is critical, in our opinion, that the commissioners
APPROVE these regulations that WILL PROTECT ELBERT COUNTY RESIDENTS AND OUR WATER to a greater extent
than current state regulations.
The regulations represent a consensus of the editing team’s 24 month effort. They are stronger than the state regulations in TWO
KEY AREAS. FIRST, they state that Elbert County has a “presumption” against open pits (storage of contaminated process water).
This legal language means that any oil operator wishing to use OPEN PITS must justify their use at a PUBLIC HEARING. This
provides both time and a forum for public input. SECOND, the regulations FORBID the use of process water for any purposes
wherein it is spread on the ground such as to provide dust mitigation on dirt roads. Process water represents a health hazard.
In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enables a voluntary contract to be entered into by an operator and the county
under which additional restrictions are placed on the operator. For instance, the MOU requires 1320’ of setback versus 500’
under state rules. However, both of these values may be waived if such setbacks prohibit mineral access. The MOU also prohibits
the use of open pits. All of the regulation requirements also apply under an MOU.
The MOU permitting process is accomplished wholly within the jurisdiction of the county and could be as short as 30 days while the
regulation implementation requires the issuance of a Special Use permit, a more lengthy process including a public hearing.
You can read the documents by going to www.elbertcounty-co.gov, then to "Departments," then "Community and Development
Services." Finally, scroll down to the draft documents of both the regulations and the MOU.
With their UNANIMOUS approval, the Planning Commission obviously agrees that these regulations are necessary for Elbert
County.....the commissioners will now be taking the FINAL vote on whether or not to adopt these regulations.
Let's show up in numbers to show the commissioners that the citizens STRONGLY SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE
EDITING COMMITTEE AND THE DECISION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION. The oil and gas interests have been
presenting their viewpoint to the commissioners with increasing frequency.....let's make sure that YOUR INTERESTS ARE
HEARD AS WELL!!
DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT....SHOW UP AND PARTICIPATE.
Thanks for your continued involvement! Please forward this to any interested parties in your sphere of influence.
Jill and Jim Duvall
ECOGIG (Elbert County Oil and Gas Interest Group)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.