On December 14, the Sandoval County Commission voted to kill a previously approved version of a new oil and gas ordinance. The new ordinance had contained some amendments added during a 5-hour long hearing on November 16 that could have required companies to go through a more detailed public notice and/or hearing process in certain “densely-populated” zones in Sandoval County when applying for a permit. Had the ordinance been approved on Dec. 14, a final vote for the amended ordinance would have occurred on January 2018.
Thus, a potential Sandoval County Ordinance, for now, is dead. But, don’t be surprised if another version begins to be scripted in the months ahead. The action taken on December 14 follows a 2-year debate and countless public comments for and against more restrictions on the oil and gas permit process in the county. Industry advocates, including NMOGA, argued an earlier version of an ordinance represented the least burdensome option compared to more restrictive proposals.
IPANM continues to take “no position” on the ordinance. IPANM strongly feels that any additional sort of county ordinance is not necessary due to the existing regulations in place that adequately protect safe water, human health and the environment. Please feel free to send IPANM President Claire Chase (Claire@mec.com) or our Executive Director Jim Winchester (firstname.lastname@example.org) any comments or questions on the proceedings.