What’s ahead in 2018 for those of us concerned about oil and gas development in Broomfield?
Before looking ahead, please remember to congratulate yourself and each other for what we have already accomplished. Our achievements have only been successful because of the contributions of everyone in the community. Our tremendous efforts in 2017 laid an excellent foundation for the work that lies ahead regarding oil and gas development in Broomfield. We all need to continue to stay engaged and work together!
Here is what to expect in 2018:
– Implementation of 301 with the new City Council
Charter Amendment 301 (Broomfield Health and Safety First) passed with over 11,000 votes and three new City Council members were elected on Nov. 7. On Nov. 14, City Manager Charles Ozaki stated that the Staff and Council needed to study how the Charter Amendment would be implemented. 301 Co-chairs Judy Kelly and Neil Allaire met with staff and spoke at the Dec. 19 Council meeting to start that process — the process will continue throughout the year.
– Extraction Oil and Gas Drilling Permit Hearings
– Jan. 20 due date for submission of citizen comments on the Comprehensive Drilling Plan for the Livingston and Interchange B Pads
Now that the COGCC has approved the spacing unit applications pertaining to these drilling sites, the next step of the process is for Extraction to get permission for drilling. Extraction was required to submit a Comprehensive Drilling Plan to the City as part of the Oct. 24 operator agreement. Citizen comments must be submitted for the Comprehensive Drilling Plan by
January 20 to the City.
– Resolution of lawsuit with Crestone
– March 19 & 20 State (COGCC) Hearings for the drilling permits (Form 2 and 2A) for Livingston and Interchange B Pads
The COGCC has granted full hearings for the pads near Adams County residences. The role of the City of Broomfield 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 operator agreement to “comport with” the operator agreement.
– Wildgrass mineral owners lease offer from Extraction and forced pooling by the State
– City’s enhanced oil and gas inspection along with a new website for citizen information on wells
City Council and Staff discussed the addition of resources in 2018 to increase monitoring technology, do more inspections of wells and make the data from inspections available on a public website.
– Ruling on Crestone lawsuit against Erie’s odor ordinance
– Further expansion of oil and gas development in the region
Don’t expect oil and gas exploration and drilling to slow down in 2018. In fact, many are describing the next few years of oil and gas development as a “boom economy.”
– Municipalities work together to improve local control
– Flowline rulemaking Jan. 8 and 9
As a result of the Firestone explosion that tragically took two lives, the State (COGCC) has been working on new flowline rules. It will hold a public hearing on January 8 and 9 at the University of Colorado, Denver. The City of Broomfield has filed a prehearing statement along with other municipalities and they will participate in the hearings.
– COGCC budget crisis raises questions about regulatory review and enforcement
– State legislature reconvenes on Jan. 10
On Nov. 30 in Broomfield, Rep. Matt Gray stated at his town hall that he is more optimistic that there will be state legislative movement on some parts of the forced pooling regulations during the upcoming session compared to the last. He identified another possible area of legislation as modifying the definition of LUMA (large urban mitigation area) to make it apply in more instances.
Sen. Marble and Rep. Saine may support legislation on flowlines and forced pooling as a result of discussions at the 4 sessions of the Marble/Saine Energy Summit.
– Ballot proposal for 2500 foot setbacks
– 2018 Offices Up for Election Nov. 6; includes Governor
If you want to take part in either the Democratic or Republican primary caucus on March 6, you must register with the party by Jan. 8. Under a new law, unaffiliated voters can vote in a primary on June 26.
– Firestone tragedy investigation continues; one year anniversary April 17
– Martinez vs. COGCC
On March 23, 2017, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Martinez v. COGCC and charged the COGCC with fostering “responsible, balanced” development, production and use of oil and gas “in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.” On May 1, the COGCC voted unanimously to appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. There is no deadline for the Colorado Supreme Court to make a decision on whether or not they will hear the case.
– More health and safety studies about hydraulic fracturing
More health and safety studies regarding hydraulic fracturing may be published, like the recent peer-reviewed study which links lower birth weights to living within 2 miles of hydraulic fracturing sites.
As you see, 2018 will be another busy year. Please continue to seek out ways you can participate and ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community, that we love, is protected.