TWG Meeting Summary 3-3-09
March 3, 2009
TWG Meeting Recap
Attendance: Todd Hunter, Scott Cuthbertson, Larry Finney, Nolan Lloyd, Dick Wilson, Tim Crawford, Dave McElhaney, Peter Berglund, Andy Horn and Alan Robbins
Location: Colorado Division of Water Resources, 1313 Sherman St., Denver, CO
Next TWG Meeting:
Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 8:30 AM, Colorado Division of Water Resources, Denver, CO
Division of Water Resources Fee Increases
The Colorado Division of Water Resources has proposed fee increases for a number of applications: well permits, replacement wells, late registration of wells, geothermal permits, determination of designated basin Denver Basin water rights, permit extensions, substitute water supply plans, replacement plans, and dam plans and specifications. Proposed fees are based upon the cost for the Division of Water Resources to process each type of application “legitimate base of business type fees.”
The fees are proposed in Senate Bill 09-216, which is currently in the House Ag Committee until March 20th. The purpose of these fees is to comply with a State legislative requirement to cut 10-percent of reliance on the General Fund, which amounts to approximately $3 million out of $30 million. Unlike SB 03-181, the proposed fee increases are permanent and will not sunset. The House Ag Committee is hearing testimony on the bill until March 20th.
Water Well Construction Rules
Todd Hunter provided an update regarding the CWWCA water well construction rules review. The CWWCA membership voted at the annual meeting to continue review of the current rules. The CWWCA has retained Jack Byers for consulting services and Mr. Byers will be participating in the water well construction review on behalf of the CWWCA as a liaison with the Division of Water Resources and Board of Examiners. A markup copy of the current rules are posted on the CWWCA website: CWWCA Water Well Construction Rules Markup. Interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments regarding proposed rule changes.
The history of the 2000 Water Well Construction Rules was revisited: In 2000, the Board of Examiners tasked the Division of Water Resources with updating the Rules. The Rules come up for review in 2010 and it is the CWWCA’s objective to have specific recommendations in 2009 for the Board of Examiners’ consideration.
Individual vs. Company Licensing and Apprentice Programs
Meeting participants generally agreed that there is room for improvement regarding the current statutory driller and pump installer licensing program. There is the topic of individual vs. company licensing. Additionally, there is the topic of an apprentice program which would serve to train and verify experience for driller or pump installer license applicants. A statutory change would be needed to implement either of these programs. Moving forward, the CWWCA was asked to propose an organizational structure for company and/or apprentice licensing programs. The Division of Water Resources would be particularly supportive of an apprentice program. Given the current topics on the table, it was suggested that the licensing topic be addressed at some point in the future.
CWWCA Geothermal Rules Review
The CWWCA has formed and ad-hoc committee to review the State’s Geothermal Rules and propose changes, if needed. Dick Wilson, committee chairman, provided an update. The committee has focused on Rule 8.5.4 regarding “cement grout,” particularly in regard to applications that penetrate a confined aquifer. The committee’s initial finding is that the Geothermal Rules may lack detail and specifics in defining grouts. Recommended changes to the Geothermal Rules may be implemented along with changes to the Water Well Construction Rules.
Denver Basin Stratigraphy
The Colorado Geological Survey have prepared cross-sections and mapping which reflect a different interpretation of the Denver Basin aquifer stratigraphy, particularly on the western margin of the basin. The Division of Water Resources does not believe that this new understanding of stratigraphy warrants changes to the Denver Basin Rules, in part because a substantial portion of the Denver Basin has already been adjudicated. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery Rules may be updated to reflect new understanding of aquifer stratigraphy.
At the January TWG meeting, Dick Wilson presented information regarding submittal well abandonment forms in Weld County. The Division of Water Resources does not have the resources to police well abandonment wholesale, but will follow up on specific un-abandoned wells or issues of contamination. CWWCA meeting participants asked the Division of Water Resources to provide a letter in the future along with replacement well permits stating that the old well must be abandoned. The Division of Water Resources does not believe it has the authority to cancel a replacement well permit on the basis non-abandonment of the original well.
The Division of Water Resources is in the process of merging well databases from the Division and Denver offices. Upon completion of this merge, the Division of Water Resources will be able to set up an auto-response that notifies when an abandonment report is needed, but has not been submitted.
Continuing Education Requirements for Newly Licensed Contractors
Currently, contractors are required to demonstrate a full eight hours of Board of Examiners approved continuing education for renewal. Continuing education credits may only be accumulated after a license has been issued. This results in a challenge for contractors who are licensed late in the year, for example in October. These newly licensed contractors only have the remainder of October, November and December to accumulate the required eight hours of Board of Examiners approved continuing education for renewal in the following year. The Division of Water Resources is supportive of implementing a change whereby newly licensed contractors may apply all continuing education accumulated during the year in which they are issued their licenses to renewal for the following year. The CWWCA will propose this change in a letter to the Board of Examiners.
Water Well Construction Rules.
Continuing education requirements for newly licensed contractors.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM.
Respectfully submitted by Daniel Niemela.