Oil and Gas Information and Resources
|• Oil and Gas Frequently Asked Questions||• Boulder County Oil and Gas Development Website|
|• Download a Map of Oil and Gas Wells in Lafayette||• View the Boulder County Oil and Gas Development Map|
|• Download a Map of Oil and Gas Wells in Urban Growth Area||• Information on Public Participation at the COGCC|
The Lafayette City Council is committed to exercising their limited municipal regulatory authority to minimize oil and gas impacts on the community, and is exploring many fronts to address future and pending applications. Oil and gas development is an activity regulated at the state level. Existing state law - solidified by Colorado Supreme Court decisions - prohibits bans on new oil and gas operation permits.
|Date / Topic|
|(COMPLETE) July 30/31, 2018: 8 North LLC Spacing and Density Hearing at the COGCC -
A COGCC hearing will be held to consider 8 North LLC’s Densitye and Spacing application in Weld County and Erie (formerly in Boulder County and Lafayette). Details on the process to speak during the public hearing are outlined below in the July 23, 2018 update.
The COGCC ruled in favor of approval for the two 8 North applications in an 8-1 vote. Audio of Mayor Berg’s public comment can be heard at via the COGCC audio recording.
|(COMPLETE) March 5, 2018: CELDF Public Interview Meeting at the Lafayette Library
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELFD) has verbally offered to provide free legal service to the City of Lafayette in the event City Council would decide to cite the Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights to justify implementing a ban on oil and gas development (fracking) within city limits.
City Council has received requests from the public to consider this pro-bono offer from CELDF. One technique the Council will use to consider the pros and cons of this partnership is a Public Interview Meeting on March 5. Residents unable to attend this meeting may submit interview questions by Sunday, March 4. Download a copy of the CELDF Q&A submitted by the City Attorney (updated 3/1/18). Watch the March 5 public input session.
|(COMPLETE) February 13, 2018: Flowline Rulemaking Hearing at the COGCC-
On January 8/9, 2018 Lafayette provided testimony at the COGCC hearing and presented recommended additions to the commission's draft rules. The Flowline Rulemaking hearing was held on February 13, 2018. View the February 19 Update below for details.
October 18, 2019
On October 15, Lafayette City Council passed on first reading Ordinance No. 30, Series 2019, a 6-month extension of the City's current oil and gas moratorium. Originally approved in November 2017, the order places a moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of land use applications related to the exploration or extraction, and related operations and activities, of oil and gas. This moratorium will be in place through May 2020.
City Council deemed this action necessary in order to fully consider the Supreme Court decision in COGCC v. Martinez, the implementation of SB19-181, and the outcome of the COGCC and CAQCC rulemaking proceedings and how these decisions will impact the content, timing, and final preparation of Lafayette's land use regulations pertaining to oil and gas operations; and
CDPHE/COGCC Study Release
On October 17, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), announced study results which examined the health impacts of air emissions from oil and gas pre-production operations. This study, conducted by Colorado State University with data reported in 2016, indicates that drilling and fracking of wells could cause health impacts in people as far away as 2,000 feet from a facility under worst-case weather conditions and peak emissions. This study confirms that acute health impacts from drilling and fracking exist beyond the COGCC's current 1,500-foot well setback distances for pre-production operations. There are currently no drilling and fracking operations occurring in Lafayette. As a result, the concerns raised in the study only affect new or pending permits for pre-production drilling and fracking operations outside city limits.
August 14, 2019 (Workshop on September 4)
The office of the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) is hosting a Public Participation Workshop on how to most effectively participate in AQCC rulemaking proceedings, especially those regarding oil and gas activities. This workshop will be particularly helpful to stakeholders that haven't frequently participated in AQCC proceedings in the past.
September 4, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Broomfield Library Auditorium
3 Community Park Road
Broomfield, CO 80020
- What is the Air Quality Control Commission?
- How is the AQCC different from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission?
- How can the AQCC regulate the oil and gas industry?
- What is the expected scope of December oil and gas rulemaking?
- SB19-181: How does it affect the AQCC?
- What does it mean to be a party to the rulemaking?
DOWNLOAD a flyer for this event
Learn more about the AQCC at colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/aqcc
May 30, 2019
On April 16, 2019, Governor Polis signed Senate Bill 19-181 into law. This bill ensures that oil and gas development and operations in Colorado are regulated in a manner that protects public health, safety, welfare, the environment, and wildlife resources.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has announced six (6) upcoming rulemakings it plans to undertake over the next 14 months in order to implement SB 181. The list is as follows.
- Change to mission. The new mission is to regulate in a manner that protects public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife. No longer is the Commission directed to foster development and only consider potential adverse impacts when regulating.
- Alternative siting analysis for large oil and gas facilities near people. This will address locations of large facilities and facilities located near populated areas.
- Cumulative impacts, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety (CDPHE). SB 181 requires the COGCC, in conjunction with CDPHE, to undertake a rulemaking to address the cumulative impacts associated with oil and gas development.
- Flowlines. This will be primarily focused on making information about the locations of flowlines public.
- Permit fees. COGCC can set a fee that is related to the costs of permitting; no longer capped at $200 per permit.
- Changes to the Commissions' procedural rules (the 500 series) to set up process for using administrative law judges and hearing officers to conduct hearings currently held only by the COGCC and to amend the evidentiary requirements for pooling and drilling and spacing unit applications.
Information on the COGCC's efforts to implement SB 181 can be found here: https://cogcc.state.co.us/sb19181.html#/overview
500 Series Rulemaking – Participation by the City of Lafayette
The City of Lafayette is a party to the 500 series rulemaking (#6). The purpose of the 500 Series Rulemaking is to make necessary changes to Commission Rules so that administrative law judges and hearing officers may preside over hearing matters and issue recommended orders to the Commission. Additionally, the 500 Series Rulemaking seeks to adopt SB 19-181's statutory language concerning the evidentiary requirements for pooling and drilling and spacing unit applications. The procedural amendments to the 500 Series Rules are necessary to ensure that the Commission is processing hearing applications in accordance with SB 19-181. The City's legal counsel is currently reviewing a draft of the proposed rules that the COGCC staff prepared.
The 500 series rulemaking is set for June 17 and 18, 2019. Being a party to the rulemaking allows the City to submit prehearing statements and responses as well as to provide testimony at the hearing. The City will be coordinating with Boulder County on Prehearing conference statements and responses. Current Moratorium
In May 2019, the Lafayette City Council approved a six-month extension to an existing moratorium on all land use applications related to the exploration or extraction, of oil and gas materials. One purpose of this extension is to allow time for Council to carefully consider, and potentially enact, new regulations intended to protect the City and its citizens from the negative impacts of oil and gas exploration and extraction. This moratorium will be in place through November 2019.
April 16, 2019
On April 16, Lafayette City Council passed on first reading, Ordinance No. 13, Series 2019, a 6-month extension of the City's current oil and gas moratorium. Originally approved in November 2017, the order places a moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of land use applications related to the exploration or extraction, and related operations and activities, of oil and gas.
City Council deemed this action necessary in order to allow for complete consideration of draft regulations and to secure legal counsel to address the use of land in Lafayette for the exploration and extraction of oil and gaseous materials. With the signing of SB-181 today by Governor Polis, legislative changes affecting regulations at the state level, and forthcoming local authority changes will affect new land use regulations.
January 16, 2019
On January 15, Lafayette City Council passed on first reading, Ordinance No. 4, Series 2019, a 3-month extension of the City's current oil and gas moratorium. Originally approved in November 2017 and extended twice, the order places a moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of land use applications related to the exploration or extraction, and related operations and activities, of oil and gas.
City Council deemed this action necessary in order to allow for complete consideration of the proposed regulations drafted in conjunction with Boulder County, in anticipation of potential legislative changes affecting regulations at the state level, and possible local authority changes that may be forthcoming as a result of the 2019 legislative session.
January 15, 2019
Lafayette's oil and gas attorney selected to serve as Polis advisor
Jeffery Robbins, who has served as the City of Lafayette's legal counsel on oil and gas since 2017, has accepted a position as Senior Advisor to Governor Polis on Natural Resources. Mr. Robbins will serve the administration to advise on natural resource issues that impact Coloradoans, including oil and gas matters. In 2014, Mr. Robbins was also appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Colorado Task Force Regarding State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations.
November 1, 2018 (New rulemaking finalized December 18, 2018)
COGCC School Setback Rulemaking
On December 18, 2018, the COGCC adopted a new rule regarding increased setback distances from schools and child-care centers. The new regulations extend the set backs to 1,000 from buildings as well as outdoor areas used by schools, including sports fields and playgrounds. Information about the School Setback Rulemaking is available HERE, and the final adopted rule HERE.
(posted on November 1, 2018)
On December 17-18, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) will consider amendments to its Rules of Practice and Procedure to clarify setback requirements for oil and gas facilities from school and childcare center areas.
The City of Lafayette has joined three other local government agencies: Boulder County, City and County of Broomfield, and City of Longmont, to request party status to testify in the prehearing process and hearing.
The petition for this hearing has requested current regulations be changed to require new oil and gas wells and production facilities be sited no closer than 1,000 feet from the perimeter of a school or childcare center "property line", as opposed to a "building" as is currently required.
The City and COGCC encourage the public to participate in the rulemaking by commenting on the proposed rules in advance of or during the rulemaking hearing. Any person may submit written comments in advance of the hearing pursuant to the procedures described below. In addition, any person may participate in the process and offer oral testimony during the public comment period at the hearing. The Commission may place a time limit on public comments during the hearing depending on the number of people who wish to comment.
Persons wishing to make oral comments at the hearing, specific to this rulemaking, are encouraged to sign up in advance via emailing to DNA COGCC.Rulemaking@state.co.us no later than Friday, December 7, 2018, 5:00 pm. Those who sign-up in advance will be given priority during the public comment period. Those submitting written comments should email them to the same address, also by Friday, December 7, 2018, 5:00 pm.
Additional details and information regarding the School Setback Rulemaking may be found at https://cogcc.state.co.us/reg.html#/rules/schoolsetbackrulemaking .
December 17-18, 2018
COGCC Denver Office
Wasatch Hearing Room
1120 Lincoln Street / Denver, CO 80203
September 4, 2018
Lafayette and Boulder County file lawsuit against the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission and 8 North, LLC
On August 21, the City of Lafayette and Boulder County jointly filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and 8 North, LLC. The suit appeals the COGCC's July 31 approval of 8 North's applications for drilling and spacing units and additional well density in two areas of eastern Boulder County.
The joint lawsuit asserts that adequate evidence was not provided to prove 8 North owns the mineral rights in the area in question, that the COGCC relied on summary and hearsay evidence for proof of mineral ownership, and that the COGCC's rules for establishing drilling units are flawed. Additionally, while 8 North has indicated the well pad sites are planned to be located outside of Boulder County and Lafayette city limits, Lafayette and Boulder County contend the site raises multiple concerns for residents and environmental resources.
August 22, 2018
City Council extends oil and gas moratorium
At their August 21 meeting, City Council voted to approve a six month extension of the City's current oil and gas moratorium in order to determine the outcome of two statewide initiative petitions (97 and 108), and the pending COGCC v. Martinez Supreme Court decision. These outcomes and timing will impact the final preparation of Lafayette's proposed new land use regulations pertaining to oil and gas operations. City Council anticipates to be in a position to consider an ordinance enacting revised oil and gas land use regulations after the November 2018 general election.
August 1, 2018
COGCC approves 8 North's Drilling and Spacing Unit Application
On July 31, a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission COGCC hearing was held to consider 8 North LLC's Density and Spacing application in Weld County and Erie. This application was previously proposed for areas within Boulder County and Lafayette city limits, but was relocated to the Town of Erie.
At this hearing, Mayor Christine Berg presented arguments against this application. The Mayor also presented a letter addressed to Governor Hickenlooper and the COGCC from seven cities and four counties including Broomfield City and County, Boulder County, Adams County, Longmont, Lafayette, Erie, Louisville, Westminster, Northglen, and Thornton. In this letter, these entities joined together to emphasize their desire to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Colorado citizens; requested a paradigm shift in the development and regulations of oil and gas sites; and expressed their opposition to the oil and gas industry's divisive actions that are creating border wars between neighboring municipalities.
The COGCC ruled in favor of approval for the two 8 North applications in an 8-1 vote. Audio of Mayor Berg's public comment can be heard at https://youtu.be/6NDkrPSoEyA .
July 23, 2018
8 North Drilling and Spacing Units hearing scheduled for July 31 at he COGCC
In a pre-hearing statement submitted to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on June 21, 8 North LLC voluntarily revealed information indicating well surface sites included in the company's pending density and spacing (DSU) application will not be located within Lafayette's city limits or designated open space. Exhibits provided with the statement confirm all 20 well sites will be situated in the southeast quarter of Section 36 within the Town of Erie.
These DSU applications will be heard by the COGCC on July 31, 2018, as part of the COGCC hearing that will take place July 30 – August 1 in Denver.
If you would like to comment on these applications, the COGCC has provided the following information;
- There will be a 90 minute public comment period on both July 30 and July 31. COGCC will accept general public comment on any subject on Monday, July 30 and public comment on the 8 North DSU applications on Tuesday, July 31. COGCC anticipates public comment will begin each day at 9:00 am.
- Sign-up for public comment will open on Wednesday, July 25 on COGCC's website and will close on Friday, July 27 either at noon or when a sign-in sheet is deemed "full." People will be limited to sign up for public comment on one day.
- If there are people who show up in Denver to speak but did not sign up online, they can sign up at the hearing. However, depending on the number of people who sign up, the COGCC Chair may limit comment time to two (2) minutes each and/or ask remaining people to come back at the end of the hearing.
- COGCC anticipates a number of people will wish to speak but will not have an opportunity due to time constraints. Consequently they encourage citizens to provide written comments. You may email comments directly to the COGCC Hearings Manager, Julie Prine email@example.com to include in the COGCC Commissioners' portfolio prior to the hearing.
What: COGCC Hearing on 8 North Drilling & Spacing Units in Boulder County
When: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 9:00 am
Where: COGCC Main Office, 1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801, Denver, CO 80203
How to Comment: Sign up on COGCC's website (https://cogcc.state.co.us/#/home) on July 25 – July 27 to request to comment in person on July 30 or 31 and/or email written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. COGCC will take general public comment on Monday, July 30 and comments on the 8 North DSU applications will be accepted on Tuesday, July 31.
June 25, 2018
8 North's pending oil and gas applications will not be located in Lafayette
Public hearing on proposed oil and gas regulations rescheduled for August
In a pre-hearing statement submitted to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on June 21, 8 North LLC voluntarily revealed information indicating well surface sites included in the company's pending spacing and density application will not be located within Lafayette's city limits or designated open space. Exhibits provided with the statement confirm all 20 well sites will be situated in the southeast quarter of Section 36 within the Town of Erie.
On August 7 and 21, the Lafayette City Council will be presented with the first and second readings of updated oil and gas regulations intended to modernize Lafayette's existing land use codes. Modeled after Boulder County's oil and gas regulations, these proposed updates are the most stringent and protective in Colorado, and go as far as possible to regulate development in a manner with the highest level of protection for the environment, and the health, safety and welfare of Lafayette citizens.
May 31, 2018
Counties and cities ask Colorado Supreme Court to protect public health and safety
A diverse set of communities has filed an amicus brief arguing that the COGCC should prioritize public health and safety when it considers rules related to oil and gas development.
The Colorado Supreme Court issued an order on May 30 accepting a brief filed by 15 Colorado counties and cities in Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez.
The amicus brief includes legal arguments supporting the position that the COGCC should prioritize public health and safety when it considers rules related to oil and gas development. "We hope the Court seriously considers our argument," said City of Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg. "As we said in the brief, the primary duty of the COGCC is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, not to balance it against the desire of for-profit corporations."
READ MORE about the communities involved and the actions being taken.
May 1, 2018
Input received for proposed Oil and Gas Regulations
From April 2 through April 15, 2018, the City of Lafayette accepted public input on proposed oil and gas regulations that would, if enacted by City Council, update Lafayette's existing Land Use Regulations. VIEW submitted comments here. Public comment will also be accepted at a yet to be scheduled public hearing before the Lafayette City Council in conjunction with formal consideration by Council.
The City of Lafayette is extremely concerned about the potential negative impacts of oil and gas development and supports the use of any and all appropriate local control tools to protect its inhabitants and the environment from those impacts.
The Proposed Oil and Gas Regulations maximize the City's authority to regulate land use activities - one of the few local control tools available to municipalities under current state law - to protect our residents and the environment from adverse impacts of oil and gas development. These regulations are modeled after Boulder County's recently enacted oil and gas regulations, which apply to oil and gas operations on unincorporated areas adjacent to Lafayette. They are believed to be the most stringent and protective local regulations in Colorado. They are comprehensive and contain thorough subjective mitigation plan requirements, while being crafted in a manner to be legally defensible.
April 19, 2018
Council approves 90-day moratorium extension
On April 17, 2018, Council approved the first reading of a 90-day extension on the City's existing oil and gas moratorium. Second reading is expected to be considered at the May 1, 2018 meeting.
Since the enactment of the original moratorium, Lafayette legal counsel and staff have been directly involved and participated in the recently adopted Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's (COGCC) flowline rulemaking. Additionally, Lafayette has engaged special legal counsel to assist the City's staff in preparing proposed regulations to address land use related to oil and gas development. These proposed regulations were presented to community stakeholders and interested parties for comments prior to formal action by City Council.
Based upon the timing and processing of this information and current schedules, City Council anticipates it will be in a position to consider an ordinance enacting revised oil and gas land use regulations in late June or early July of 2018, and requires this short moratorium extension to facilitate completion of these activities.
April 2, 2018
Seeking public input on Proposed Oil and Gas Regulations - comments due by April 15, 2018
The City of Lafayette is extremely concerned about the potential for oil and gas development and supports the use of any and all appropriate local control tools to mitigate the impacts of these activities. The City is seeking citizen input on a set of proposed regulations that will update our existing land use code.
The Proposed Oil and Gas Regulations maximize the City's ability to use its land use authority – one of the few local control tools available to municipalities under current state law - to protect our residents and the environment from oil and gas development.
These regulations are modeled after Boulder County's oil and gas regulations, which are the most stringent and protective local regulations in Colorado. They are comprehensive and crafted in a manner to be legally defensible. These proposed regulations go as far as possible to regulate oil and gas development in a manner with the highest level of protection for the environment, and the health, safety and welfare of Lafayette citizens. It is staff's opinion that this alliance with Boulder County provides comprehensive benefits and value through a cohesive working relationship, especially in situations where potential oil and gas development is on or adjacent to jointly owned land.
The deadline to submit comments is April 15, 2018
READ the proposed regulations and SUBMIT your comments online (comment period ended 4/15/18)
To submit a hard copy of your comments, please mail or hand deliver them to:
City of Lafayette
Attn: Deputy City Clerk
1290 S. Public Road
Lafayette, CO 80026
April 9, 2018
8 North LLC spacing and density hearing continued to July30/31
The April 30/May 1 hearing scheduled for 8 North LLC's spacing and density applications at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has been continued (rescheduled) again to July 30/31, 2018. This COGCC hearing will be held to consider 8 North LLC's Spacing and Density applications in Boulder County and Lafayette.
The public is expected to have the opportunity to provide input to the COGCC on these applications. Details will be shared with the public as soon as it is available. The agenda for this meeting will be posted on the COGCC website two days prior to the meeting.
April 4, 2018
Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. Statement on drilling and spacing unit near Lafayette (Docket 171200773) – April 3, 2018
Upon Boulder County's request to clarify drilling plans in the spacing unit, on April 3, 2018, Extraction provided the following statement regarding drilling near Pioneer Elementary School:
"While the drilling and spacing unit applications that we filed back in September 2017 include a subsurface area that extends westward to Lafayette, we want to be clear that, contrary to rumor, we currently have no plans to locate an oil and gas development surface site for these applications anywhere within the Lafayette city limits, let alone next to the Pioneer Elementary school as some have suggested. In the spirit of transparency and partnership with the communities where we live and operate, we did not want there to be any confusion around those plans." – Eric J. Christ, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary – Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc.
View a map of Sections 35 and 36 with defined city limits
Extraction Oil & Gas is the parent company of 8 North LLC
March 14, 2018
In early January, the COGCC denied Lafayette/Boulder County's joint request to intervene and protest 8 North LLC's spacing and density application. Legal counsel has facilitated a decision that will now allow the City and County to file protests. 8 North LLC's spacing and density hearing is currently scheduled for April 30/May 1. The full agenda for this meeting will be posted on the COGCC website when it is available. Refer to the September 11, 2017 post below for background information on the proposed 8 North LLC application.
February 19, 2018 Oil and Gas Development
Regulations to be considered by City Council on February 20
The City's existing zoning and land use regulations that pertain to oil and gas operations are in need of an update in order to better protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens, and address current development practices.
At their February 20 meeting, City Council will be presented with a set of updated oil and gas regulations for consideration. These proposed land use policies are modeled after regulations currently in place and utilized by Boulder County. Because an area being considered for development straddles Lafayette and Boulder County Open Space, staff feels it beneficial to regulate these type of operations collaboratively with Boulder County. Flowline Rules finalized by the COGCC on February 13
In response to the 2017 flowline explosion and tragedy in Firestone, ten (10) local governmental agencies aligned to provide the COGCC with direction on proposed oil and gas flowline rulemaking (see the January 12 update below). On February 13, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) completed their rulemaking process and approved final rules.
- Geospacial data for new flowlines installed after May 1, 2018 will be required upon installation.
- Geospacial data for existing flowlines that are known or can be acquired by operators' records, will be required to be provided by October 31, 2019.
- By October 31, 2019, operators must register known domestic taps that were installed prior to May 1, 2018.
- New domestic taps, or newly discovered existing taps, must be registered within 30 days of the installation or discovery.
- Higher frequency testing and inspections of flowlines for leak and rupture detection.
- Notification of reportable safety events will be provided to local governments.
- A stakeholder panel will be assembled with local governments, COGCC staff, operators, and industry representatives to examine current and developing technologies and processes that may be better able to detect and prevent flowline leaks and spills. The group's progress will be reported quarterly to the COGCC with a final report and recommendations due within a year.
Additional information can be found onthe COGCC's rulemaking website: http://cogcc.state.co.us/reg.html#/rules/flowlinerulemaking
February 1, 2018
Sign up to participate in the East Boulder County Water Quality Study
This is a free opportunity to learn about your water quality if you live in East Boulder County and have a well on your property. The study is not being conducted due to any known or suspected water problems.
Boulder County Public Health has been collaborating with researchers at the University of Colorado to design a study that will provide a robust baseline of groundwater quality in eastern Boulder County. The baseline data will help provide an understanding of current groundwater quality, which will serve as a baseline for comparison if/when oil and gas production in the area changes or increases.
This study is relying very heavily on homeowners to participate. Please sign up by February 28, 2018. Visit the Boulder County Public Health website to learn more.
January 31, 2018
Public comment at the March 19/20 Spacing and Density Hearing (originally scheduled for January 29/30) has been **RESCHEDULED ONCE AGAIN** to April 30/May1, 2018:
The COGCC March 19/20 hearing date (originally scheduled for January 29/30, 2018) has been continued (rescheduled) to April 30/May 1, 2018.
This COGCC hearing is being held to consider 8 North LLC's spacing and density application in Lafayette/Boulder County. The public will be allowed to speak and/or provide input in some way, but the COGCC has informed the City that they are "looking at instituting some changes for our public comment process". Instructions on how to get involved and provide input for this specific meeting will be shared with residents as soon as additional information and clarity are received from the COGCC staff.
January 17, 2018
CELDF Public Interview Meeting on March 5, 2018
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELFD) has verbally offered to provide free legal service to the City of Lafayette in the event City Council would decide to cite the Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights to justify implementing a ban on oil and gas development (fracking) within city limits.
City Council has received requests from the public to consider this pro-bono offer from CELDF. One technique the Council will use to consider the pros and cons of this partnership is a Public Interview Meeting on March 5. Residents unable to attend this meeting may submit interview questions by Sunday, March 4. Learn more about the process, the March 5 meeting, and submit a CELDF interview question.
January 12, 2018
Public comment at the January 29/30 Spacing and Density Hearing has been **RESCHEDULED** for March 19/20, 2018:
The COGCC hearing date originally scheduled for January 29/30, 2018, has been continued (rescheduled) to March 19/20, 2018. This COGCC hearing is being held to consider 8 North LLC's spacing and density application in Lafayette/Boulder County. The public will be allowed to speak and/or provide input in some way, but the COGCC has informed the City that they are "looking at instituting some changes for our public comment process". Instructions on how to get involved and provide input for this specific meeting will be shared with residents as soon as additional information and clarity are received from the COGCC staff.
8 North Spacing and Density Application Appeal: In early January, the COGCC hearing officer denied Lafayette/Boulder County's joint "Intervention and Protest" and "Motion to Dismiss" 8 North LLC's spacing and density application. Our legal counsel is in the process of appealing that decision, asking it be heard by the full COGCC commission.
COGCC flowline rulemaking hearings held on January 8/9, 2018: In response to the 2017 flowline explosion and tragedy in Firestone, ten (10) local governmental agencies aligned to provide the COGCC with direction on proposed oil and gas flowline rulemaking. The COGCC held a hearing on January 8/9 to discuss their draft regulations. The City's Building and Planning Director, Fire Chief, and outside Oil/Gas Attorney presented testimony at this hearing. The hearing has been continued to February 13 for an anticipated final rulemaking decision. View the Affiliated Governments' seven (7) priority issues being raised for flowline rulemaking.
December 18, 2017
Dismissal of request for Public Forum – Staff from Lafayette and Boulder County presented at the December 11 COGCC meeting as to why a public forum should be held in our community prior to 8 North's Spacing/Density hearing on January 29/30. This request was denied by the COGCC – there will be no public forum.
January 29/30 Spacing and Density Public Hearing – While there will not be a public forum in Lafayette prior to the January 29/30 Spacing and Density Hearing for 8 North's application, the public can speak during the public hearing. When finalized, the final January 29/30 agenda with scheduled times will be published on the COGCC webpage. Meetings are held at the COGCC offices:
The Chancery Building
1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801
Denver, CO 80203
CPC letter to City Council (dated December 11, 2017): The Colorado Petroleum Council (CPC) submitted a letter to City Council expressing their disappointment regarding the City's six-month moratorium on oil and gas activities. View the letter from CPC.
November 28, 2017
COGA letter to City Council: The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) submitted a letter to all City Council members expressing their concern regarding the City's six-month moratorium on oil and gas activities. View the letter.
November 15, 2017
Spacing and Density Hearing on January 29/30, 2017: At this meeting the COGCC will consider 8 North LLC's spacing and density application in Lafayette and Boulder County. The public is allowed to speak for 3 minutes during Public Comment. When finalized, the agenda will be published on this COGCC webpage. Meetings typically begin at 9:00 am and are held at the COGCC offices:
The Chancery Building
1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801
Denver, CO 80203
Public Forum Request – At the December 11 COGCC meeting, Lafayette will be formally requesting the Commission hold a special, local public forum in Lafayette for residents to speak about the potential health, safety, and welfare impacts of the 8 North LLC operations on the community. The COGCC is not required to schedule a public forum and has already administratively denied this request. If the City's appeal is approved, a public forum will be scheduled to be held sometime before January 29.
Flowline Rulemaking on January 8/9, 2018 (*updated 12/20/17*): As a result of the flowline explosion in Firestone this year, ten (10) local governmental agencies have aligned and are collaborating to provide the COGCC with direction on proposed oil and gas flowline rulemaking. The participating agencies (referred to as Affiliated Governments) are:
Lafayette Adams County
Boulder County Thornton
Fort Collins Gunnison County
City/County of Broomfield NW Council of Governments Water Quality/Quantity Committee
The COGCC has agreed to hold a special meeting on January 8/9, 2018 to conduct flowline rulemaking which will, in part, consider the coalition’s recommendations. On December 19, the commission announced a change of venue for this meeting to the University of Colorado Denver. Interested members of the public may comment;
- In writing: by emailing comments to DNR_COGCC.Rulemakinq@state.co.us by December 29, 2017. Comments after this date may not be delivered to the Commission.
- In person: during the public comment period of the hearing. Interested parties are encouraged to sign up in advance via email to DNR_COGCC.Rulemaking@state.co.us no later than Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 5:00 p.m. Those who sign-up in advance will be given priority during the public comment period.
November 6, 2017
On November 6, the Lafayette City Council enacted a 6-month moratorium upon the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of all land and special use applications regarding oil and gas exploration and extraction.
This "time-out" will provide staff and Council a period of time to investigate the ability of Lafayette to regulate oil and gas operational impacts upon the City and its citizens, and to develop and implement any appropriate regulations needed to protect and preserve the public's health, safety, and welfare.
Upon legal advice, this ordinance - originally proposed on first reading as a 12-month moratorium - was amended to reflect a shorter, 6-month time period. At the November 6 meeting, an ordinance was also approved to allow oil and gas code amendments to bypass the Planning Commission and be heard directly by City Council in order to expedite the hearing process. Because of the elimination of Planning Commission's involvement, it is logical to assume a shorter time frame for the moratorium will be needed.
October 30, 2017
As a result of a filing by the City of Lafayette and Boulder County to postpone the October 30 and 31 agenda item, the 8 North LLC spacing application has been removed from this week's COGCC agenda. As future proceedings and dates are available, additional information will be shared.
October 17, 2017
City Council has committed to spend up to $500,000 on legal counsel in order to protect the health and safety of residents, and to fight the permitting of oil and gas operations near our homes and schools. View the Oil and Gas FAQ sheet handed out at the October 17 City Council meeting.
October 17, 2017
On October 17, City Council enacted, on first reading, a 12-month moratorium upon the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of all land and special use applications regarding oil and gas exploration and extraction.
This moratorium will provide staff and Council a period of time to investigate the necessity and ability of the City to regulate the impacts upon the City and its citizens, and to develop and implement any appropriate regulations needed to protect and preserve the public's health, safety and welfare.
Second reading is scheduled for the November 6, 2017, City Council meeting.
October 4, 2017
At their regular meeting on October 3, City Council approved a proposal to hire special counsel to consult with and assist the City to update rules and regulations pertaining to oil and gas operations, and with any proceedings that may come before the COGCC.
At this same meeting, Council considered enacting a 12-month moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing and approval of land use applications for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. The consensus by Council was to table the further discussion of the moratorium to their regular October 17 meeting. The draft moratorium is available for review in the October 3 agenda packet.
The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, along with the City Administrator, planning staff, and attorney, attended a meeting with the Boulder County Commissioners and staff and State Representative Mike Foote, to discuss possible reactions the City of Lafayette may take in response to 8 North LLC's spacing permit request (see the September 11 entry).
September 21, 2017
On September 26 the Lafayette Planning Commission will review a proposed amendment to the City's code requiring the location and mapping of subsurface oil and gas flowlines, gathering lines, and transmission lines. This amendment is also proposing to increase the existing 500 foot setback requirement of wellbores, production tanks, and on-site production equipment to a 750 foot setback. A copy of the draft ordinance is available in the September 26, 2017 Planning Commission agenda packet. Planning Commission tabled the amendment to their next regular October meeting in order to allow the City Attorney to attend and answer questions.
September 11, 2017
On September 11, 8 North LLC, a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas, LLC, filed paperwork with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to begin the state permitting process for oil and gas development in two areas of Boulder County - one adjacent to Lafayette.
- Learn more about the 8 North application
- Read the Boulder County Commissioners' Statement
- View the 8 North LLC Drilling and Spacing Order Application Map dated 9/11/2017
The Lafayette City Council along with Boulder County Commissioners and other local municipalities sent a letter to Governor Hickenlooper on May 15, regarding the Martinez v. COGCC Appeal. An excerpt Done Editing from the letter, "We respectfully urge you to override the COGCC vote and decline to file a petition for certiorari review of Martinez. We further ask that, if the Court grants certiorari on the petition of industry, that you decline to further participate in the litigation. Please show the victims of the Firestone tragedy and the people of this state that you care about their safety and well-being. Read the full letter and media release.
City Council passed the Climate Bill of Rights (Ordinance 2017-02) stating that all Lafayette residents possess the right to a healthy climate, the right to community self-government, the right to defend, and the right to defense.
November 2013 Ballot Issue to Ban Oil and Gas Extraction / COGA Lawsuit
In November 2013 Lafayette passed a ballot initiative banning corporations from establishing new wells to extract oil and gas within Lafayette city limits. In December of 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGA) filed a lawsuit against the City of Lafayette and prevailed.