CDPHE Supports Hold on Acme Permit While COGCC Approves Eight More Extraction Broomfield Wells

The City and County of Broomfield (CCOB) announced on October 24 that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommended “that COGCC delay the final determination on the Acme Pad until additional analysis is conducted to ensure compliance with Senate Bill 19-181.”  In contrast, on October 23 the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved eight Extraction Broomfield wells that had been pending for almost a year.  This was at the same time that the Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee (WOGc) was granted an emergency hearing on Nov. 4 in Denver District Court to consider a stay on COGCC permitting until rulemaking is complete. 

Since two additional Livingston wells were just approved by the COGCC, that means that the drill rig at Livingston will remain at the pad longer, causing health impacts to be extended for nearby residents. Extraction was about to finish drilling its 16th well and would have had to move the drill rig without drilling the 17th and 18th well.

CDPHE’s October 22 letter to the COGCC stated that the Acme Pad should be put on hold because COGCC rulemaking was incomplete and there were negative short-term health impact results in its new study “Human Health Risk Assessment for Oil and Gas Operations in Colorado.”  CDPHE also stated that COGCC “cumulative impacts rulemaking in consultation with CDPHE as required by SB19-181 is scheduled for early next year.”  The Acme Pad is “in close proximity to thousands of residents, schools, parks, a medical facility, the Erie Municipal Airport and other active and proposed multi-well pads,” according to the letter.  If the COGCC did approve the Acme Permit, then the CDPHE also recommended certain Best Management Practices be required, such as cooperative emergency notification, identification of a CAMML location (air quality monitoring), pipelines, electric drill rigs, and desired drilling mud.  Please read the entire letter here

Yet only a day later, the COGCC approved the permits for eight Extraction Broomfield wells that had been pending for almost a year.  The wells were Livingston S19-25-15N, Livingston S20-25-2C, Interchange B S22-30-20N, Interchange A S22-30-21N, Interchange A S22-30-1C, Interchange A S16-20-20N, Northwest B S20-25-19N, and Northwest B S20-25-18N.  CCOB announced that Extraction gave CCOB 48 hour notice that the two newly approved Extraction wells would be spudded.

Livingston S19-25-1N is now the only one of the 84 Broomfield Extraction wells that is not permitted.  It is the westernmost well off of the Livingston Pad and has been under protest by WOGc.  On July 3rd, Extraction Oil and Gas filed a spacing unit application (Docket #: 190700611) for boundary well Livingston S19-25-1N.  WOGc protested this spacing unit and had a pre-hearing conference on July 22nd. WOGc filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction with the COGCC as Extraction failed to notify all owners.  WOGc also appealed the hearing offer’s subsequent orders denying their motion to stay and denying discovery under SB19-181.  The case has been moved on the COGCC agenda from the original July 31st/Aug. 1st date, then to Sept., next to October, and now is scheduled to be heard on Nov. 13th.

On behalf of WOGc’s protest of Livingston S19-25-1N at the COGCC, WOGc/Colorado Rising attorney Joe Salazar filed a Motion for an Emergency Hearing in Denver District Court to stay the COGCC spacing unit hearing for the boundary well.  The claim stated that no permitting should be allowed to go forward at the COGCC since rulemaking needs to be completed.  On October 24, this hearing was granted for Nov. 4 at Denver District Court.