letter to Attorney
General Wasden February 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
State of Idaho
Office of the
Jefferson Street, Suite 210
P.O. Box 83720
Dear Mr. Lawrence G.
Wasden – Attorney General
As a citizen of Gem
County, I truly appreciate and would like to take advantage of your
"personal commitment to providing Idahoans access to the information
they require of their government."
With regards to oil &
gas devolvement in Idaho, your January 2011 opinion, which I have
carefully read, clarified the need for the state's Oil & Gas
Commission to define "occupy" as it relates to OGCA. The legislature
achieved this by enacting HB464 as well as providing a "however" for
LLUP authority and its obligation to protect citizens by stating,
“extraction may be subject to reasonable local ordinance provisions,
not repugnant to law, which protect public health, public safety,
public order or which prevent harm to public infrastructure or
degradation of the value, use and enjoyment of private property.”
Gem County is
currently working on adopting a Gas and Oil ordinance, and I ask for
your clarification regarding the following questions:
1 - Does HB464
invalidate your January opinion "THE OGCA DOES NOT 'OCCUPY THE FIELD'
OF OIL AND GAS REGULATION TO THE EXTENT THAT PREEMPTION OF ALL LOCAL
LAND USE PLANNING ORDINANCES IS IMPLIED"? And if so, how precisely is
2 - Does HB464 change
"THE NEED FOR UNIFORM REGULATION OF OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT AND
OPERATIONS DOES NOT EXCLUDE APPLICATION OF LOCAL LAND USE PLANNING
3 - Does OCGA & HB464
"protect public health and welfare" to the extent that LLUPA and
counties are able provide to its citizens?
4 - When county
ordinance(s), as authorized by § 67-6518, impose higher standards than
are required by any other statute regarding…
“promote the health,
safety and general welfare of the people in the state of Idaho as
(a) To protect
property rights …
(c) To ensure that
the economy of the state and localities is protected. …
(d) To ensure that
the important environmental features of the state and localities are
(k) To avoid undue
water and air pollution.”
...do the OGCA
statutes take precedence?
5 – Does HB464 and
OGCA interfere and prevent counties from imposing higher standards to
protect “the health, safety and general welfare of the people in the
state of Idaho“?
Thank you in advance
for your response and thank you for doing an excellent job for the
citizens of Idaho.