News Flash

Arapahoe County News

Posted on: November 9, 2021

Arapahoe County Board approves new oil and gas regulations

Oil and gas site in Arapahoe County

After an extensive public and industry engagement process, Arapahoe County this week solidified 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 Arapahoe County. The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the regulations on Tuesday, Nov. 9. 

During the hearings, industry officials stated their opposition to the required pad setback of 2,000 feet from an “occupied structure,” but agreed with a waiver process that mirrors the regulations set by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. 

Citizens applauded the 2,000-feet requirement but expressed disappointment that applicants could seek the waiver. However, the new County regulations also include a provision that any setback that’s less than 2,000 feet must be approved by the local fire district that provides service to the facility. 

The new regulations are the result of a comprehensive review by Arapahoe County Public Works and Development (PWD) that began in 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 new regulations provide detailed requirements for the application and approval process, which include public outreach and safety guidelines.

Other notable provisions:

Approval and Review: The PWD director will ultimately approve any administrative application submitted for a new oil and gas facility. The regulations also provide standards for an administrative alternative with a use-by special review process. Applicants can opt for this with a public hearing if they propose alternative standards for a project. If the County seeks to revoke a County-issued permit for an oil and gas facility, the Board will decide after hosting a public hearing. 

In addition, applicants must comply with the following:

Public Outreach: Producers must contact property owners and registered homeowner’s associations within one mile of a proposed facility pad boundary. A neighborhood meeting must be held to solicit concerns and ideas. 

Setbacks: A proposed pad must be 2,000 feet from any occupied structure. The waiver process for a lesser setback follows the regulations set by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and includes a provision that a local fire district agrees to provide service to the facility. 

Safety: Applicants must submit a facility-specific Emergency Action Plan and an initial facility-specific Tactical Response Plan, as well as provide 24-hour contact information for the operator.

Water Sampling: Operators must pay for initial baseline and ongoing sampling and testing of all water sources located within one-half mile of the proposed facility. If no water source is located within a half mile, operators must test water sources within a one-mile radius of the facility. 

Noise: Operations cannot exceed 60 dBA or 65dBC, which is measured at the nearest property line with an occupied structure. Sixty decibels is the average sound level of a restaurant.

Odor: Operators must use low-odor Category III drilling fluid to prevent odors during drilling. 

Lighting: All site lighting must be directed downward and inward to prevent lighting from impacting neighboring properties. During production, lighting must be turned off between 10 p.m. and dawn.

Visual Mitigation: Well pads within 1,320 feet of a property containing a home must be designed with solid fencing, berms or landscaping. 

Traffic: Operators are to make their best efforts to limit heavy truck traffic on County roads during peak commuting hours and during school bus hours.

Additional information about the new Oil and Gas Regulations can be found at www.arapahoegov.com/oilandgas.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Arapahoe County News

2022 Arapahoe County Fair

Arapahoe County Fair is next week!

Posted on: July 21, 2022
VSPCNewsFlash2

County candidate lot draw announced

Posted on: July 14, 2022
CP_Stormwater-drain

Wastewater and wasting water

Posted on: June 22, 2022
Check-mailbox

Check the mail for your ballot!

Posted on: June 7, 2022
Bike to work day logo

Bike to Work Day is June 22

Posted on: June 1, 2022
CP_Public_Works_Week

Public Works—Ready and Resilient

Posted on: May 11, 2022
Stage-2-Burn-Ban

Stage 2 Open Burning Ban

Posted on: April 21, 2022
Arapahoe County Health Department logo

Public health is more than you think

Posted on: March 16, 2022
Red document drop box in front of administrative building

Drop red gorgeous

Posted on: March 16, 2022
SMP_CP_ArapahoeVotes_20220214

ArapahoeVotes.com is now ArapahoeVotes.gov

Posted on: February 18, 2022
pic_CP_presidents_day

Building closures for Presidents Day

Posted on: February 16, 2022
Graphic saying Happy Holidays

2021 Better Together

Posted on: December 23, 2021
Thanksgiving

County building closures for Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 22, 2021
Sign on sidewalk that reads "Voter Services and Polling Center"

Vote centers open Monday, Oct. 25

Posted on: October 21, 2021
SMP_CP_ACCares_Antibody-Testing

Arapahoe Cares: Dig Deep Research

Posted on: October 21, 2021
pic_CP_records_digitization

Preserving the past, for the future

Posted on: October 5, 2021
SMP_CP_Board_Barrel_smores

Tickets on sale now for Board & Barrel!

Posted on: October 4, 2021
pic_CP_Closed_Arapahoe_Day

Arapahoe Day building closures

Posted on: September 30, 2021
Labor Day

Labor Day building closure

Posted on: September 2, 2021
SMP_CP_Census

2020 Census Update

Posted on: August 26, 2021