By Emilie Rusch – The Denver Post – August 28, 2015
Noise limits, monthly leak inspections among the new requirements
Erie and one of its oil and gas operators have come to terms on a new agreement to guide future drilling in the Front Range community.
The Erie Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an operator agreement with Encana, which has well sites in and around town.
One such site, near the Vista Ridge development, was a source of controversy late last year after drilling operations caused almost a month of sound and vibration problems that ultimately drew violation notices from the state.
In January, trustees rejected a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling permits on a close vote. The proposal was prompted by the issues at the Pratt site, as well as the failure after months of negotiation to come to a new agreement with Encana.
The agreement approved this week provides for earlier local review of proposed well pad sites, as well as best-management practices intended to help avoid past problems, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Gruber said Thursday.
“The beauty is we’ve moved the local municipal process from after the (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) has already permitted the site to before they’ve permitted the site,” Gruber said. “Now our residents within a half-mile radius actually get notification, which they weren’t before, and they can go before COGCC by going through our process.”
The new agreement, in action, identifies and approves eight new Encana pad sites in and around Erie. Those sites will be subject to the new town review process, Gruber said.