Director of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission resigns | CraigDailyPress.com

Director of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission resigns

Craig Press staff report

Rig 20, operated by Gulfport Energy and located off Colorado Highway 13, two miles south of U.S. Highway 40, as seen from former Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner's back porch in 2017.

DENVER — Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore is resigning as director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to return to the private sector effective March 2. Lepore was appointed director of the COGCC in August 2012.

Lepore led regulatory changes to increase distances between drilling and neighborhoods; reduce the effects of light, noise and odors; protect and monitor groundwater; tighten requirements for spill reporting; significantly elevate penalties for operators violating commission rules; toughen requirements for operating in floodplains; increase the role of local governments in siting large operations near communities and overhaul requirements for design, installation, maintenance, testing, tracking and abandoning flowlines.

"Leading this agency has been the professional privilege and challenge of a lifetime," Lepore said. "We benefit from the participation of so many outstanding citizens, industry representatives and COGCC staff and commissioners, working together in good faith through the inherently difficult issues that can arise in balancing increasing energy production within a growing state."

Lepore will join Adamantine Energy, a private consulting firm.

Julie Murphy, assistant director for Energy and Minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, has been appointed COGCC's new director. At DNR, Murphy addressed policy, technical and legal perspectives on oil and gas, as well as mining and reclamation.

Prior to her DNR role, she worked at the COGCC as the hearings and regulatory affairs manager, directing the agency’s legal affairs and attorneys. Prior to that role, Murphy represented the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety and COGCC as an assistant attorney general.