Oil and Gas Draft Regulation Review at April 3 Council Study Session

Broomfield Staff has completed draft oil and gas regulations for Council to review at their April 3 Study Session as item C5 on the agenda.  According to the 42-page document, “Staff would like Council’s direction on the proposed draft regulations.”  Citizens cannot comment at Study Sessions, but this is the beginning of a process which will eventually require Council to vote on the regulations when citizens will be permitted to comment.  In the meantime, we encourage you to email comments and questions to your Council Members at the email addresses found here.

These regulations have been anticipated since the August 29 adoption of the Oil and Gas Chapter to the Comprehensive Plan which does not have the force of law.  During the Oil and Gas Task Force’s work, the Legal Subcommittee made recommendations for new oil and gas regulations.  The Summary for agenda item C5 states that these recommendations are reflected in the Staff’s April 3 draft.

Additionally, the April 3 Summary indicates that the Staff’s draft has been “informed” by meetings with the 301 group, subsequent to the passage of Ballot Question 301 on November 7.  These meetings included conversations with Gunnison County, CO staff and Contra Costa, CA County staff regarding their regulations.  According to the document,

Examples of regulations that are similar or are taken from the Gunnison County  regulations recommended by the 301 Committee include:

17-54-060 – Use by special review criteria standards for air quality, water quality, noise, light, dust, emergency preparedness and response, weed control, grading, drainage, & erosion, risk management, Cultural and Historic Resources, Geologic Hazard Areas, Land Disturbance, Natural Resources.

Examples of regulations that are similar, or are taken from the Contra Costa, California industrial regulations recommended by the 301 Committee, include the requirement that operators submit a safety management plan and the contents thereof.

The Staff draft regulations cover both the process of Use by Special Review Permit granted by Council and an Operator Agreement approved by Council.  An operator can choose between one of those two processes in proposing an oil and gas development in Broomfield.  Currently, the proposed Extraction Oil and Gas 84-well development is under an Operator Agreement approved by Council on October 24.  On February 23, Crestone Peak Oil and Gas filed an application for a Use by Special Review Permit for a proposed oil and gas development in Broomfield.

The draft regulation document lists the regulations according to the 17 areas set forth in the Oil and Gas Chapter. It states that the general purpose of the draft regulations are to “ensure that oil and gas facilities are designed, modified, commissioned, constructed, equipped, operated, maintained, suspended, and abandoned in a manner that prioritizes the protection of human health, safety, and welfare. The draft regulations also contain provisions related to the location of proposed oil and gas well sites, including a requirement that operators conduct an alternative site analysis.”