Process and Operations

Arapahoe County is committed to balancing quality of life, health and safety issues without inhibiting responsible development. Draft regulations aim to provide industry with process-based requirements that support enhanced notification to the community about operations, a proficient application and review process that promotes best management practices that will mitigate the impacts of oil and gas production facilities.

Please refer to the Glossary of Terms for clarification.

COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION 

Oil and gas development impacts entire communities, not just those who own or live on land directly adjacent to well sites. Citizens have expressed a desire to have early and frequent communication about the entire process, from application with the County to develop a site, through the production and completion of wells. 

Possible solutions: Require operators to conduct public meetings with local residents prior to or during the application process. Require notification to the County and residents living within a mile of a proposed site prior to the beginning of each phase (construction, drilling, fracking and completion). Notification must be made by mail, newspaper publication and public meetings.

APPROVALS & WAIVERS

With the passage of Senate Bill 181, additional authority was given to county governments to enhance oil and gas regulations in their communities. If these regulations are approved, they will be included as an amendment to the Land Development Code (LDC) for unincorporated Arapahoe County. Issues outlined by LDC are enforceable by the County for compliance.

The LDC is designed, intended, and administered to promote the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and/or welfare of the present and future inhabitants of Arapahoe County.

Operators may not develop land for the use of oil and gas operations without meeting these regulation requirements.

To maintain a balanced and transparent approach to the approval of oil and gas development, the regulations allow for:

Possible solutions

  • The director of Public Works and Development to refer the approval process to the Board of County Commissioners
  • The County to revoke approval of an operation based on non-compliance with the requirements of the regulations
  • The expiration of an approval after three years if construction/operations have not yet commenced
  • A formalized process for operators to apply for waivers
    • If such waivers do not jeopardize health, safety and the environment
    • Exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis

 

SITE MANAGEMENT

Ensuring that an oil and gas facility is properly managed is of utmost importance to ensure safety and adherence to all rules and regulations set forth by the State and Arapahoe County.

Arapahoe County expects that the highest standard is deployed in best management practices and implementation of new technologies that increase safety and/or support necessary mitigation requirements.

The following rules reduce the chance of trespassing, vandalism, injury of unauthorized person(s), leaks, erosion of support structures, spills and more. View the complete technical draft.

Possible solutions: Site security fencing, use of steel berms with synthetic liners OR earthen berms (compacted soil) reinforced by cobbles to protect from erosion by wind and rain, ensure all steel or earthen berms have the capacity to hold 1.5 times the largest tank on site, prohibit the development of any above-ground oil and gas facilities within a floodplain and prohibit the storage of hazardous or floatable materials in a floodplain