Oil and Gas

Arapahoe County Commissioners on Nov. 9, 2021 approved new oil and gas regulations that address key safety, traffic and quality of life considerations. The new rules aim to create parity between industry and resident concerns while also allowing for continued production and growth in unincorporated Arapahoe County. 

The next steps are the Development Application Manuel and the Land Development Code will be amended to include the new regulations to take effect. Each requires approval by the Board of County Commission. 

The new regulations were drafted due to the passage of Colorado Senate Bill 181 in April 2019. This legislation gave additional authority to county governments to enhance oil and gas regulations in their communities. In response, Arapahoe County drafted the approved amendment to the Land Development Code. 

With the passage of Colorado Senate Bill 181, additional authority has been given to the county governments to enhance oil and gas regulations in the communities. In response, Arapahoe County has drafted an amendment to the Land Development Code to include oil and gas regulations.

To better understand key concepts of the regulations, please reference our Oil and Gas definitions document

Public Hearings:

The new regulations were adopted after public hearings held by the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the regulations on Oct. 5 and the Board of County Commissioners adopted the new regulations on Nov. 9, 2021. It is important to keep in mind that the criteria the Board of County Commissioners gave to staff in drafting the new rules are as follows:

  • Impact on the Public
  • Alignment with the State (Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission new rules & Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment new and existing rules)
  • Best Management Practices
  • Industry Impact
  • Impact to County Resources

The Big Picture

Arapahoe County has a diverse landscape and many residents have sought a rural lifestyle in the eastern portion of the County where oil and gas drilling primarily occurs. The County is committed to balancing quality of life, health and safety issues without inhibiting responsible development through an open feedback process with stakeholders. New regulations have been drafted to reduce the impacts of oil and gas development on nearby properties and local infrastructure. Updates to the Land Development Code have provided the framework. The following issues have been raised by the community. Click the icons to explore more information.

CONSIDER
THESE
WHAT
WE HEARD
SOLUTIONS
CLICK
& LEARN

Quality
of Life

Light
Noise
Visual Mitigation
Odor
Wildlife
Traffic
LEDs and shields
Setbacks and sound walls
Berms and tree planting
Air quality/emission monitoring
Seasonal restrictions
Timing restrictions
Quality of life


Health
and Safety


Emergency Response Plans
Water

Plan submission and training
Well water sample testing
Health-Safety


The
Process


Community Notification
Approvals
Waivers


Public meetings and hearings
Process efficiencies
The Process

Operations

Site
Management
Fencing
Berms
Containment
Operations