Updated oil and gas regulations open for public comment
Schedule for draft ordinance extended due to COVID-19 outbreak
Updated March 25,2020:
Proposed updates to the city’s comprehensive oil and gas regulations are open for an extended public comment period between March 10 and May 29. Due to the public health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, the public comment timeline and planned city council schedule have been extended. The city has been working since last year to revise the regulations within the Land Development Code (LDC) to incorporate current regulatory trends and industry best practices. The last comprehensive update of the city’s oil and gas regulations occurred in 2012.
Visit the oil and gas page to review the draft regulations and submit comments
The proposed regulations were drafted considering many different factors, including feedback from the public and other stakeholders, recent changes in state law and regulatory agencies, scientific studies, legislative actions taken by other jurisdictions, and extensive oil and gas Best Management Practices (BMPs) focused on protecting health, safety, welfare, quality of life, and the environment. The city’s priorities for proposed oil and gas development have been to minimize impacts and maximize protections for the community.
When initially considering the proposed regulations last fall, city council directed staff to seek additional stakeholder feedback and further refine the proposed ordinance. Staff has since hosted numerous meetings to consult with regulatory and government agencies, industry representatives, advocacy groups, and the city’s Oil and Gas Focus Group (the city previously held two public open houses in October). Changes to the proposed regulations since the first draft cover topics such as:
- Air quality monitoring requirements
- Setback measurements and distances for new building near existing wells
- Disclosure of chemicals used during drilling and authority over gathering lines
- Permit issues related to length of validity and ownership changes
In addition to this public comment period, city council will offer feedback at a study session scheduled for June 8. Staff will then review all comments, evaluate potential changes, and draft an ordinance to update the city’s oil and gas regulations. The approval process will include more public comment opportunities during the following public meetings (schedule has been adjusted since initial release and is still subject to change):
- June 16 – Planning Commission public hearing and recommendation
- July 6 – Ordinance #2266 presented to city council for a public hearing and first reading
- July 20 – If passed on first reading, ordinance #2266 will be considered for final approval by city council on second reading
While new oil and gas permits would be subject to these new rules, the applications already submitted to the city for well pads proposed by Extraction Oil & Gas, LLC are subject to existing regulations and the terms of the Regional Operator Agreement (ROA) signed last year. Those applications are currently pending; no city oil and gas permits have been issued at this time.
Learn more about oil and gas in Commerce City at c3gov.com/OilGas.
Hard copies of the proposed ordinance will also be available for public review at the following locations once they reopen to the public:
Commerce City Civic Center (7887 E. 60th Ave.)
Bison Ridge Recreation Center (13905 E. 112th Ave.)
Eagle Pointe Recreation Center (6060 E. Parkway Dr.)
Anythink Commerce City Library (7185 Monaco St.)
While we encourage residents to submit comments through the website, written comments can also be submitted (by May 29) in person or by mail to:
City of Commerce City
Community Development Department
7887 E. 60th Ave.
Commerce City, CO 80022
To stay updated on oil and gas issues in the city, sign up for email alerts from the city’s new oil and gas news feed at c3gov.com/subscribe.