Boulder County unveils proposed oil, gas regulations

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado - Credit Niobrara News

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado – Credit Niobrara News

Public hearing on Land Use Code changes set for MondayBy John Fryar Longmont Times-Call

BOULDER — Companies preparing to drill for oil and gas in unincorporated Boulder County would face a new set of county review procedures, expectations and conditions, under a proposed set of revisions to the county Land Use Code’s provisions about oil and gas development.

Boulder County officials said in a statement that the staff-suggested draft of those regulations — unveiled online Monday evening — are designed to work within the county’s authority to adopt local rules “that harmonize with state regulations” about oil and gas exploration while enacting “the most protective land use regulations possible for new oil and gas development.”

The proposed Land Use Code changes address such topics as avoiding or mitigating potential negative impacts that oil and gas exploration and production could have on air and water quality, county roads, the environment, and public health and safety. They would update a 19-year-old set of rules the county enacted during a previous spurt of oil and gas development, officials said.

If you go

What: The Boulder County Planning Commission will hold a special session for a public hearing and possible action on proposed revisions to the county Land Use Code’s rules and regulations about oil and gas exploration and production in unincorporated parts of the county.

When: 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24

Where: Boulder County Courthouse’s third-floor hearing room, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder.

Further information: The proposed regulations are posted , at on the county’s oil and gas development web page. Information about the work that’s been under way since last winter on updating oil and gas provisions in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan and the county Land Use Code also is available at that website.

People with questions about future opportunities for public involvement in the adoption of the new rules can contact Jim Webster at 720-564-2600 or

The draft regulations would address air and water quality issues for the first time, the county staff wrote in a memo.

Air and water quality standards in Boulder County’s current Land Use Code only require that oil and gas operators comply with state requirements. The draft regulations propose much more specific local rules for companies to satisfy as they undergo county review of their drilling plans.

Continue reading story at Longmont-Times Call

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