News & Announcements

Draft oil and gas regulations available for public review

Ordinances scheduled to go before council November 4

Post Date:10/25/2019 3:30 PM

City staff has completed draft updates to the city’s comprehensive oil and gas regulations. The draft regulations are scheduled to go before the planning commission on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and then city council for a first reading on Monday, Nov. 4. The public will be able to comment on the regulations during public hearings at both meetings or in advance through an online form. If the updates pass on first reading, the ordinances are scheduled to go back to council for a second reading, and potentially final adoption, on November 18.

View the draft regulations on the Oil and Gas Operations page

The city last made significant updates to its oil and gas regulations in 2012 and is now working to adopt revised regulations that are more reflective of recent regulatory trends and current best practices for the industry. The draft regulations were created considering a number of factors and a range of input, including:

  • Feedback from the public at recent open houses (and via the online comment form) and meetings with city council, the planning commission, other regulatory/government agencies, and industry stakeholders.
  • The city’s expanded authority under new state legislation passed earlier this year (Senate Bill 19-181).
  • Recent actions taken by other area jurisdictions.
  • Scientific studies, technological advancements, and other significant events.
  • An extensive list of oil and gas Best Management Practices (BMPs) created to offer health, safety, welfare, quality of life and environmental protections.

The process of updating city regulations is different and separate from the recently signed Regional Operator Agreement (ROA) between the city and Extraction Oil & Gas, LLC. The requirements in the ROA apply only to Extraction’s proposed drilling sites, while city regulations cover all other potential operators and locations in the city. The work that went into creating the ROA did help lay the groundwork for the updated regulations, which include many of the same requirements and BMPs.

Once the updated regulations are approved, all future permit applications the city receives will be subject to the new rules. The city has already received complete permit applications from Extraction Oil & Gas for two proposed sites. Those applications, and any others received from Extraction prior to the final adoption of the updated regulations, will be subject to the existing regulations and the terms of the ROA. No permits have been issued at this time.

The city’s priorities for proposed oil and gas development have been to minimize impacts and maximize protections for the community while respecting private property rights. To learn more about oil and gas in Commerce City, visit c3gov.com/OilGas.

For the most updated city council meeting agendas, visit c3gov.com/council

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