Passage of 301 Prompts Invitation to Dialogue with Staff on Implementation

At the end of a five-hour Council Meeting on Nov. 14, City Manager Charles Ozaki acknowledged the fact that Ballot Measure 301 had passed and that the Staff and Council needed to study how that Charter Amendment would be administered.  He said that the first step would be to extend an invitation to the Yes on 301 Committee to discuss what the Committee saw as the intent of 301 and how they saw safe drilling in Broomfield being done going forward.  He said that this conversation should occur soon since the Charter Amendment was adopted last week.

City Manager Ozaki also stated that Special Counsel Tami Yellico was working on matrix that would present Council with a clearer idea of what moving forward with the Update Committee’s suggested regulations would look like.  He said that the Staff intended to work with the State to get an idea of how the State might plan to modify any of its regulations that pertained to the Update Committee’s recommended regulations.

After the Staff gathers input on the 301 Committee perspectives and finishes organizing its review of the Update Committee recommended regulations, City Manager Ozaki suggested that Council hold a Study Session regarding the results.

Council Member Shelton asked City Manager Ozaki if the City had contacted the State after the news of the State (COGCC)’s failure to properly notify Aspen Ridge Preparatory School about the emissions of VOCs during the plugging of wells by Crestone in September.  City Manager Ozaki said that the City did intend to contact the State to make sure that the City understood what they should be able to expect the State to do in the case of such an accident.  He added that the City will have its own monitoring for oil and gas development also.

During Citizen Comments at the beginning of the Council meeting, Jean Lim and Lizzie Lario expressed their concerns about the ineptitude of the COGCC that was displayed at the Oct. 30 and 31 COGCC hearings and during the recent accident in Erie.  Jean Lim pointed out that all of these issues raised the question of how the City would be acting to protect Broomfield citizens’ safety in light of the “citizens sending a message by passing charter amendment 301.”  Lizzie Lario thanked Council Members Kreeger and Tessier for speaking during Citizen Comments at the COGCC hearings.  She also stated to all the Council Members, “I know that all of you are probably very glad that there is no oil and gas item on tonight’s agenda, but those of us in the northern part of Broomfield deal with these issues continually on a daily basis.”

Jean Lim also asked for a clarification of the role that the City would play in the drilling permit application process going forward, but that was not addressed at the meeting.  The role of the City was left open to question after the COGCC Commissioners changed the language in the Extraction spacing unit applications from the permits being “subject to” the MOU to “comport with” the MOU.  The Commissioners stated clearly at the hearing that they changed the language in order to allow the COGCC at their discretion to change the pad locations that will be submitted with the drilling permits.

The newly elected Council Members will be seated at the next Council meeting on Nov. 28.  Outgoing Council Members Derda, Stokes and Taylor were thanked several times for their years of service.