Oil and gas development site on the Colorado Front Range 

Oil & Gas Development

Boulder County is concerned about the potential for significantly expanded oil and gas development within the county, and supports appropriate, tighter restrictions and increased local control to mitigate the impacts of these activities. A temporary moratorium on accepting new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County is currently in place through May 1, 2017.

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County Commissioners extend temporary moratorium on processing oil and gas development applications

At a public hearing on Dec. 13, 2016, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) considered the status of the temporary moratorium that was due to expire the end of January 2017. County staff requested a time period of approximately four months to finalize and implement new oil and gas regulations based on direction given by the BOCC on Nov. 15 and 17, 2016. Staff stated that they would need time to research and draft many of the additional provisions requested by the Board and to prepare to implement and administer the regulations. The Board extended the existing moratorium on new oil and gas development until May 1, 2017. View the announcement.

The County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing for 2 p.m. on March 14, 2017 to consider a final draft of the regulations. In the meantime, a moratorium on new oil and gas development in Boulder County will remain in place through May 1, 2017.

    Recent Public Comments

    Boulder County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners review of draft oil and gas development regulations (Docket DC-16-0004)

    See announcement. Additional public meetings and hearings will be posted when scheduled.

    Board of County Commissioners Public Meetings & Hearings(Docket DC-16-0004)

    Board of County Commissioners public meeting, Nov. 17, 2016 – The Board adopted Resolution 2016-130 formalizing the moratorium extension through the end of January 2017 and established December 13 as the date on which a public hearing regarding the moratorium’s status will take place. Staff will provide an estimate of the time needed to complete the requested research and develop amendments to the proposed regulations at the Dec. 13 public hearing.
    Documents: Board of County Commissioners public hearing, Nov. 15, 2016 – After several hours of public testimony, the Commissioners gave staff direction to further inquire into and develop changes to the draft regulations. Since this work cannot be completed by Nov.18, when the current moratorium was set to expire, the Board voted 3-0 to extend the moratorium on an emergency basis until the end of January 2017 so that a public hearing could be set to determine the status of the moratorium (i.e., if and how long to further extend the moratorium based on staff’s estimate of time regarding the necessary work to be done).

    Planning Commission Public Meetings & Hearings (Docket DC-16-0004)

    Planning Commission public meeting, Oct. 27, 2016 – The Planning Commission voted (9-0) to:
    A) recommend approval of the proposed regulations (Docket DC-16-0004) to the Board of County Commissioners, with the edits and direction they provided at the October 27, 2016 public meeting, and
    B) recommend that the Board of County Commissioners continue with a multi-pronged approach to addressing oil and gas development and consider a temporary moratorium on the processing of the required development plans for local oil and gas permits, for a period of time less than 5 years, to craft additional regulations based on new and recently published studies.
    No further testimony was taken.
    Documents: Planning Commission public hearing, Oct. 12, 2016 – Public comment was taken.