Rules and Regulations

Oil and gas operations, including well drilling, production, and pipeline installations, are regulated through federal, state and local government rules and regulations.

Local Government Jurisdiction

The Local Government Land Use Control Enabling Act of 1974 gives local governments some authority to plan development within their respective jurisdictions.


The act provides local governments with specific land-use powers that may be used to regulate certain oil and gas activities within their jurisdictions.


The act, has been upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court as a proper basis for independent regulation of oil and gas activities, so long as the local regulations are not operationally preempted by the COGCC rules.

Helpful Resources for Oil and Gas Development in Unincorportated Arapahoe County:

Federal Regulations for Oil and Gas Operations

Oil and gas operations in Arapahoe County that are regulated by federal regulations include pipeline construction and operation and underground injection of produced water.

State of Colorado Rules and Regulations for Oil and Gas Operations

Oil and gas operations in Colorado are governed primarily by statutory provisions of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and rules promulgated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

The COGCC regulates oil and gas drilling and production in Colorado by issuing permits for the drilling and operation of oil and gas wells and facilities, and enforcing rules for well spacing, setbacks, well bore construction, treatment and disposal of waste, well abandonment, and well site reclamation.

Other State Agencies

Other state agencies with regulatory authority for oil and gas operations concerning air quality, water quality, wildlife management and historic preservation are:
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPA)
  • Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation