Write or Attend Tuesday Council Meeting to Encourage Protest of Drilling Under Rocky Flats and Express Other Recent Concerns

Are you concerned that a UK registered oil and gas operator has filed applications to drill under adjoining Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the former nuclear weapons production facility?  Please consider writing Council or attending the Nov. 13 Meeting at 6 p.m. in order to encourage the City to protest these applications at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

You may also want to include concerns about:

– the Broomfield Public Health Emergency Operations Plan in Item 9b (see below)

– the release of hydrogen sulfide complaint that Anthem Highlands residents filed on Nov. 6 through the City’s Oil and Gas Complaint System

– the health and safety impact that a fire like the Nov. 7 Weld County fire with a 1 mile evacuation would have near the Livingston Pad

– the Erie Acme project that was approved by the Erie – Crestone Operator Agreement on Nov. 4  that will greatly impact Anthem Ranch and Anthem Highlands

– Executive Session discussion about the lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians and Residents Rights against the City (see below)

You can write Council at council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org

Public comments should be made during Item 5 at the beginning of the meeting, except for comments related to Item 9b on the Broomfield Public Health Emergency Operations Plan and comments for Item 13(a) Highlands Natural Resources Spacing Unit/Rocky Flats which should be made when that item is heard.

Item 13(a) Highlands Natural Resources Corporation – Spacing Unit Applications Update

Highlands Natural Resources Corporation (Highlands) purposely filed drilling and spacing unit permits for 104 wells with the COGCC before the Nov. 6 vote on Proposition 112, according to its website.  It already has a producing development in East Denver and its website states that this proposed West Denver project will develop “surface area largely free of urban development and consolidated into closely grouped parcels, [that] will allow Highlands to move through the permitting and development process efficiently, thereby facilitating greater mobility.”

On Nov. 8, Highlands withdrew some of the permits for wells that would have been under Standley Lake and Westminster Hills Off-Lease Dog Park.  However, Hilghlands is currently going forward with some of the remaining spacing units that will be drilled under Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the former nuclear weapons production facility.  One pad site will be located in the NW corner of State Highway 128 and Indiana Street in Superior and will have 31 wells.

This spacing unit contains 6,301 square feet in Broomfield just west of Indiana Street, which gives Broomfield standing to protest the application at the COGCC.  At the August 14 Council Meeting, an amendment to the oil and gas regulations required Staff to bring all such applications to Council for direction on protests.  Broomfield Staff reported that they have contacted Jeffco and will also reach out to Westminster, Arvada, Superior and Boulder.

According to the City, the following are the approximate distances to the proposed well pad close to  Broomfield:  

○ 530 feet to Broomfield City Limits,

○ 1,898 feet to the nearest residential house in Broomfield (Windy Ridge Subdivision),

○ 3,173 feet to the nearest apartment complex in Broomfield (The Ridge at Broomfield subdivision)

○ 1,449 feet to the nearest residential house in the Town of Superior.

Highlands’ proposed development is very far from consistent with Best Management Practices contained in Broomfield Oil and Gas Regulations.  The City reports that “the supporting documents for this pad site indicate 31 oil tanks, 31 water tanks, 31 separators, and 16 emission control devices will be located on the pad, and the produced oil and water will be trucked off location.”

In addition to encouraging Broomfield to protest, you can submit a comment to the COGCC for the pad permit by December 5 by using this link: https://cogcc.state.co.us/publicComment/?doc_num=401807551

Item 9(b) Proposed Resolution No. 2018-238-BH Adoption of the Broomfield Public Health Emergency Operations Plan

This document which is meant to broadly cover various kinds of public health emergencies does not contain anything about emergencies related to oil and gas development, even though it states that it includes environmental health hazards.  Residents might want to ask Council why this document does not point to some specifics related to oil and gas emergencies and if it should have a detailed appendix to cover the oil and gas emergency response plan that the City has been developing.

Item 7(g) Executive Session

According to the agenda, Council will hold an Executive Session for the following:

“(1) legal advice to determine positions relativeto matters that may be subject to negotiations and to direct negotiators relating to oil and gas property interests.”

“(2) legal advice related to spacing unit applications filed with the COGCC by Highlands Natural Resources Corporation.”

“(3) legal advice regarding civil action no. 2018CV30316, filed by WildEarth Guardians and Residents Rights.”