In breaking news late Friday, the City and County of Broomfield announced that they served Extraction Oil and Gas a citation on February 7, 2020 for violating Broomfield’s noise ordinance the night of February 6, 2020.
At a Council meeting on January 14th, after hearing public testimony and receiving a large influx of emails from residents impacted by excessive noise coming from hydraulic fracturing on Extraction’s Livingston Pad, City Council voted unanimously to pass an emergency noise ordinance. The emergency noise ordinance limits noise from all industrial operations in residential areas between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
From the press release: “‘Broomfield has a responsibility to preserve the public peace and protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents,’ says City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman. ‘Enforcing the ordinance passed by the City Council shows our collective and continued effort to protect the health and well being of our residents.'”
Despite the passing of the ordinance, residents continue to experience noise pollution from the Livingston Pad in their homes with windows closed at all hours of the night. Neighbors have reported complaints of industrial noise coming from the pad at 10:30 pm, 3:30 am and 4:00 am. Those living in the neighborhoods around Livingston were hopeful that the ordinance would give them some respite from the noise.
As stated in the press release, “The first citation comes after Extraction failed to cease operations between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., or to submit a noise-modeling study that showed noise levels wouldn’t exceed the standards, or to seek a variance from the provisions, which they had 15 days to complete after the ordinance passed. Each day Extraction fails to comply is a separate violation and Broomfield will cite the operator every day the violation continues. Violation of municipal ordinances can result in a maximum fine of $2,650.”
According to the agreement between Broomfield and Extraction, the city can enact general ordinances that apply to all commercial and industrial operations. The noise ordinance, according to the city, falls within this realm.
Some residents expressed appreciation with the City Council for taking some of the most protective actions to date to protect citizen health, safety and wellbeing. Others, while appreciative, questioned whether fines and sanctions would be enough and wondered why an injunction was not being deployed.
Residents who continue to be impacted by the noise of industrial operations in their neighborhoods should keep on filing complaints with the city.