The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14 to consider oil and gas amendments to the County’s Land Use Code that include wildfire protections, increased setbacks, an air quality monitoring program, and additional testing requirements for soil, surface water and groundwater.
The hearing will be held in the East Hearing Room within the Administration Building, 5334 S. Prince St., in Littleton. Those who can’t attend in person can participate in the hearing by calling 855-436-3656 and pressing *3 to speak.
The Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial of the proposed amendments at their Nov. 8 public hearing. A recording of the meeting will be available on the website.
While the Planning Commission recommend denial, the Board of County Commissioners will consider the following:
- Require oil and gas operations to be located 3,000 feet away from existing and planned reservoirs when downgradient conditions can be demonstrated;
- Increase setbacks from occupied structures, platted lots and outside activity areas to 2,500 or 3,000 feet;
- Include wildland urban interface protections determined necessary by the fire district;
- Require soil contamination testing for any incidents where fluids move off a well pad. This includes a remediation plan if testing reveals contaminants are present off the well pad;
- Require the creation of groundwater and surface water quality plans, which provides additional water testing beyond state requirements, paid for by the operator;
- Develop an air quality mitigation plan, including air quality monitoring beyond state requirements with additional monitoring stations and increased leak detection monitoring. This requires County notification should a test result exceed air quality standards and monitoring conducted by an independent third-party consultant, paid for by the operator;
- Require continuous noise monitoring by an independent third-party consultant, paid for by the operator.
The Board of County Commissioner’s agenda and additional information of the proposed amendments is available at arapahoeco.gov/agendas.
The board previously approved amendments to the oil and gas land development code on October 10, which included a one-mile setback from existing and planned reservoirs unless downgradient conditions can be demonstrated, requiring access roads that comply with fire code, and requiring handwashing supplies for workers at oil and gas sites.
The County is developing additional amendments for consideration in early 2024, such as the inclusion of financial assurances and development of a County inspection program. For more information, visit www.arapahoeco.gov/oilandgas.