The Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners will conduct a follow-up public meeting in November to address new oil and gas regulations, after residents and industry representatives were unable to come to an agreement about well pad setbacks. The Board will further review clarifications and the draft regulations at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9 at Arapahoe County Administration Building, 5334 S. Prince St., in Littleton.
The proposed new regulations are the result of a comprehensive review by Arapahoe County Public Works and Development (PWD) that started in September 2019 after the passage of Senate Bill-19 181. The legislation granted additional authority to county governments to enhance oil and gas regulations in their communities. The 17-page draft regulations provide detailed requirements for the application and approval process, which include public outreach and safety guidelines.
As currently written, the draft regulations provide an exception to the setback requirement in which an applicant could seek approval for a shorter setback from neighboring property owners and the fire district. This process would require a public hearing before the Board.
During Tuesday’s meeting, oil and gas officials representing the American Petroleum Institute Colorado and Colorado Oil and Gas Association expressed concern about the 2,000-feet setback requirement. Carrie Hackenberger, API Colorado associate director, said the setback requirements should be “reasonable” and account for “real world experiences.” But County resident Becky Roberts, who lives in Watkins Farms, said the proposed setback requirement provides necessary safety, citing the fire this past June at a well pad near Bennett.
Additional information about the proposed Oil and Gas Regulations can be found at www.arapahoegov.com/oilandgas.