For those who have been following the IDL’s negotiated rulemaking session or if you read Rocky Barker’s article, “Department of Lands sticks with 300-foot setback for oil and gas plants” it should be apparent that state regulations do not adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of residents from the adverse impacts of oil and gas activities. In fairness, the state is charged by statute to promote the development and production of oil and gas and to prevent the waste of these resources. It is up to the local jurisdiction to regulate these adverse impacts under the Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) which charges them to protect the communities resource, quality of life, property values, and health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Until the state is willing to assume this duty the local jurisdictions must ensure, through strong local ordinances, that protections against the adverse impacts of oil and gas activities are in place. Don’t accept the argument that the state has jurisdiction in oil and gas matters and there is nothing we can do at the local level. Residents need to pressure their elected officials to fulfill their obligation under the LLUPA and protect their community.
Chad Brock, New Plymouth