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What is the current status of the oil and gas issue in Lafayette?

On September 4, 2012, City Council was presented with a workshop on Hydraulic Fracturing. This workshop was intended to brief the Council on: 1) how the Development and Zoning Code, Section 26, regulates Oil and Gas drilling within the city limits 2) the location of existing wells within the city limits; 3) the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission’s rules and regulations; and 4) how other cities regulate oil and gas drilling.

The City’s Development and Zoning Code, Section 26-22.1, Oil and Gas Development, was adopted in 1994. Since Section 26-22.1 was adopted, no new oil and gas wells have been drilled within the city limits.

At the September 4, 2012 City Council workshop, City Council directed staff to review Section 26-22.1, research how other jurisdictions regulate oil and gas wells, and propose updates if staff determine deficiencies with the Code exist. Council also directed the City Attorney to draft an emergency moratorium ordinance. If, while staff is in the process of reviewing and proposing changes to the Code, an application for an oil and gas well is anticipated, staff would alert City Council, and Council could adopt the emergency moratorium.

Since the City Council workshop, the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGCC), recently updated their regulations to: 1) require ground water testing prior to, and after, drilling a new oil and gas well; 2) require increased setbacks of oil and gas wells from homes and building to 500 feet; 3) require enhanced drilling measures for oil and gas wells within 1,000 feet of a home. At the January 15, 2013 City Council meeting Senator Matt Jones and Representative Mike Foote talked about their belief that the COGCC’s updated regulations may not appropriately regulate oil and gas wells. They stated that they believe the state legislature may adopt additional regulations in this year’s legislative agenda. Based on this fact, staff is waiting to see if any new state regulations will be adopted prior to recommending any amendments to Lafayette's current regulations.

Oil and Gas Frequently Asked Questions
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