News Flash

Arapahoe County News

Posted on: May 24, 2023

Proposed oil and gas amendments open for public feedback

An oil rig sits in the middle of a field

Arapahoe County is proposing amendments to current oil and gas regulations with opportunities for the public to comment and learn more at an open house June 21. The current regulations were adopted in November 2021. 

The draft amendments are designed to increase health and safety protections from oil and gas operations within the County and ensure the regulations align with neighboring jurisdictions and industry best practices and include:

  • One-mile setbacks from existing and planned reservoirs unless the well pad can be demonstrated to be downgradient; 
  • Access road standards to match current fire code;
  • Alternative emergency access roads for well pads located in areas with only one way in and one way out; 
  • Handwashing supplies for workers at oil and gas sites;
  • Allow natural gas-powered cryptocurrency mining as an accessory use to oil and gas facilities; and 
  • Additional application information, including a project narrative, photo simulations and documentation of floodplain, wetlands and riparian area boundaries.

Interested residents and stakeholders can view the proposed amendments on the County’s website and are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft by June 29. 

An open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 21 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E Quincy Ave, Aurora, 80016. 

This is the first phase of a staff review and revision of the regulations. A second phase is scheduled for later this year and staff may present additional potential changes to the regulations for consideration. Phase 2 topics can include financial assurances, air quality monitoring, school setbacks, reverse setbacks and impact fees.

Any proposed amendments will require approval from the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), following study sessions and public hearings, which will be scheduled in the coming months. Those meetings and hearings will be posted on the oil and gas webpage, as well as instructions for remote participation in the hearings.

The County approved the current Oil and Gas regulations in November 2021. Since that time, staff has reevaluated the existing rules and two new sites and four amendments to existing sites have been approved. For more information, visit Arapahoe County Oil and Gas. 

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