Residents Rights and WildEarth Guardians File Lawsuit Against City Demanding Protections for Public Health and Safety from Drilling

Residents Rights and WildEarth Guardians served a lawsuit to the City of Broomfield and City Manager Ozaki on October 23.  It alleges that the City Manager “unlawfully approved of a ‘Comprehensive Drilling Plan’ allowing Extraction Oil and Gas to drill and frack 84 new wells in the City and County of Broomfield, despite the Plan’s failure to comply with the requirements of the Broomfield/Extraction Operator Agreement or the City’s own Charter and ordinances.”  Residents Rights is an organization of impacted residents and WildEarth Guardians is a nonprofit environmental advocacy group.

Please read the press release here and the entire lawsuit here.  It was filed in Colorado District Court in Broomfield County, with Attorneys Dan Leftwich of Mind Drive Legal Services and Kate Merlin of Colorado Environmental Advocates representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also refers to the passage of Broomfield Charter Amendment 301 in November 2017 which allowed “oil and gas development only if it does not adversely impact the health, safety, and welfare of residents, wildlife or the environment.”  The press release states that, “In spite of this voter initiative, in September 2018, Broomfield City Manager Charles Ozaki, authorized Extraction Oil and Gas, Inc. to begin drilling without including crucial conditions to assess, disclose, and prevent risks to public health and safety, including conditions required by the Operator Agreement.”

Residents Rights and WildEarth Guardians will be hosting a press conference to address the filing of the suit and provide commentary from spokespeople and impacted residents. The press conference will be today from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. at Anthem Community Park located at 15633 Sheridan Parkway in Broomfield.

If you want to receive updates on this lawsuit, you can follow Residents Rights on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also receive updates by WildEarth Guardians on Facebook and Twitter.

In response to the lawsuit, the City posted the following on the Oil and Gas webpage:
 
“WildEarth Guardians and Residents Rights Lawsuit
 
The City and County of Broomfield was notified of a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians, and Residents Rights on October 23, 2018. The City Attorney’s Office and City Manager’s Office are currently reviewing and analyzing the complaint. The City spent many months negotiating with Extraction Oil and Gas to include the most protective best management practices in Colorado in the Operator Agreement and implemented those in the Comprehensive Drilling Plan. The best management practices include measures to protect public health, safety and welfare consistent with Broomfield’s Charter and well beyond anything provided in State law.”