Boulder County issues statements on recent oil and gas court rulings – Sept. 24, 2019
Boulder County to appeal rulings in lawsuit against Crestone Peak Resources over oil and gas leases. Read full statement.
Crestone CDP Hearing Suspended (April 2019)
COGCC will not consider Crestone CDP at May 20-21 hearing
Due to the mandate from SB19-181 which was signed into law on April 19, 2019, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) hearing on Crestone Peak Resources’ Comprehensive Drilling Plan (CDP) proposed in Boulder County was suspended and a future hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Once the county has more information on future scheduling, we will publicize the dates. Learn more…
April 2019 Crestone CDP hearing postponed by COGCC
On April 3, 2019, the Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) announced that the Commission’s April 29-30 hearing at which the Crestone Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) was to be heard will be postponed and rescheduled. Due to changes to the makeup of the COGCC made by the April 3 passage of Colorado SB19-181, the Director postponed the April COGCC hearing until the effects of those changes are understood and implemented. Because of the postponement, the April 9 COGCC public comment session that had been scheduled specifically for the CDP will also be cancelled. Boulder County will publicize further details on the rescheduled COGCC Crestone CDP hearing as soon as the information is available. Sign-up for text or email news alerts.
Boulder County oil and gas lawsuit with Crestone moves forward – Feb. 14, 2019
On Feb. 14, 2019, the District Court ruled (view ruling) that the county must wait until permit processes proceed to file some claims. Read more.
Crestone CDP hearing to move forward – Dec. 19, 2018
On Dec. 17, 2018, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), by a vote of 6-2, reversed the order issued by the Hearing Officer to postpone the hearing on Crestone Peak Resources’ Comprehensive Drilling Plan (CDP) pending the outcome of the County’s lawsuit against Crestone. This means the hearing on the CDP and its associated drilling and spacing units will be scheduled for a future COGCC hearing, date to be determined. Read more.
Boulder County to argue Crestone’s Exception to CDP Postponement at COGCC on Dec. 17-18, 2018
After the COGCC postponed the Crestone CDP hearing, Crestone filed an “Exception,” asking the full COGCC Commission to reconsider the order issued by the Hearing Officer. During the December 17-18, 2018 COGCC hearing in Denver, the County, Crestone, and the City of Boulder will participate in oral argument to the COGCC commissioners on whether they should uphold or vacate the order continuing the CDP hearing indefinitely pending the outcome of the County’s lawsuit against Crestone. The agenda for that hearing will be posted on COGCC’s website and public comment can be offered in person on December 17 and online (view COGCC Public Comment Process information).
The County recently learned that the COGCC does not consider public comment part of the official record unless the commenter is first sworn to tell the truth. If members of the public are concerned about this, they can ask that the COGCC first swear them in before making their public comment or, for written comment, include an affirmation with notarization.
Crestone pushes forward with COGCC applications despite stay – Nov. 28, 2018
Boulder County requests that the State reject or place the permits on hold. Read more.
Crestone Drilling Proposal Postponed Indefinitely – Oct. 4, 2018
Boulder County requested that the COGCC postpone its hearing on the CDP pending the outcome of its lawsuit filed Sept. 25, 2018. Read more.
Boulder County files lawsuits against Crestone Peak Resources and 8 North LLC – Sept. 25, 2018
Boulder County filed lawsuits in Boulder District Court on Sept. 25, 2018, against two oil and gas companies: Crestone Peak Resources and 8 North LLC (a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas). Read more.
Boulder County submits Protest and Intervention to the Crestone final CDP – Aug. 24, 2018
Boulder County has submitted a Protest and Intervention to the Crestone final CDP (submitted to the COGCC on June 15). The Protest and Intervention ensures that the county will be a full party to the CDP hearing scheduled for Oct. 29-30, with the ability to present evidence and make legal arguments. The county raised several issues in its Protest and Intervention, from legal challenges to the process and the information Crestone has provided, to site-specific concerns including impacts to residents, agricultural lands, ecological resources and flood risks in the CDP area. View the Protest and Intervention to the Crestone final CDP.
COGCC Director’s Finding of Suitability of Crestone Peak Resources Operating LLC’s Final Comprehensive Drilling Plan – July 30, 2018
On July 30, 2018, the COGCC Director made her Finding of Suitability of Crestone Peak Resources’ Final CDP. With this Finding of Suitability, the COGCC Director has requested the Final CDP be placed on the COGCC Commission’s agenda for the October 29-30, 2018 hearing in Denver. View the COGCC Director’s Finding of Suitability.
Boulder County’s comments on Final (Fifth Draft) CDP – July 6, 2018
Boulder County submitted formal comments on the Final (Fifth Draft) CDP to COGCC on Friday, July 6, 2018. View map of Final CDP proposed well sites.
Originally the CDP application was expected to be docketed for a COGCC Commission Hearing in September at an “Away Hearing Location/TBD” unless protested by intervening parties. Boulder County formally requested the hearing be moved to a date certain at a local location (Denver) so that stakeholders and the public have certainty on the location and date. If the COGCC Director files the CDP with the Commission on July 27, the COGCC Commission Hearing on the CDP will be scheduled for October 29 or 30, 2018 in Denver.
Public comments can be submitted June 20 to July 8 through COGCC’s Public Comment Portal. The Public Comment period for the Final CDP Package closes on July 8, 2018. View map of Final CDP proposed well sites.
Telephone Town Hall Meeting for CDP Area Surface Owners – June 27, 2018 from 6-7 p.m.
Crestone Peak Resources will host a surface owner meeting via telephone town hall to review the Final CDP package on Wednesday, June 27 from 6-7 p.m. Registration is required for this meeting. RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the phone number that you would like to be called at. You will receive a confirmation email with more information about the call once your registration is received. The meeting provider will reverse-dial meeting participants at 6 p.m.
COGCC revised the CDP timeline to allow time for continued negotiations and evaluation of potential locations. A “Final CDP” will be posted to the COGCC website on June 20, 2018, followed by another public comment period June 20-July 6. If the COGCC Director finds the Final CDP satisfactory for presentation to the Commission, the CDP application will be docketed for the regular COGCC Commission Hearing in September. Since the September 17 and 18 COGCC hearing is at an “Away Hearing Location/TBD,” Boulder County has requested the hearing be moved to the October 29 and 30 COGCC hearing in Denver.
SPECIAL NOTE – April 25, 2018
The Final CDP Package will not be posted to the COGCC website on April 30, 2018 as previously planned. As part of the iterative process of developing the Comprehensive Drilling Plan (CDP) in Boulder County, COGCC is extending the timeline to allow Crestone Peak time to conduct a further evaluation of the location proposed in Section 1 of T1N R69W. A new timeline and additional details will be posted on the COGCC’s website shortly.
Boulder County’s comments on Fourth Draft Preliminary CDP – April 13, 2018
Crestone Peak to hold CDP Telephone Town Hall on April 4, 2018
Crestone Peak will hold a telephone town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 4, from 6-8 p.m. The meeting will focus on the fourth draft preliminary CDP that will be publicly available on Friday, March 30 on the COGCC’s website. Registration is required for this meeting, so if you would like to participate, please RSVP by emailing Crestone Peak at email@example.com and providing the phone number to be reverse dialed for the meeting. You will receive a confirmation email from Crestone with additional information about the call once your registration has been received. Crestone is requesting that you RSVP for the telephone town hall by 12 p.m. on April 4.
COGCC again revised the CDP process and timeline to allow time for continued negotiations and evaluation of potential locations. A Fourth Draft Preliminary CDP will be posted to the COGCC website on March 30, 2018, followed by another public comment period March 30-April 15, including a minimum of one (1) public outreach meeting. The Final CDP will be available to the public on April 30, with written public comment accepted April 30 – May 13. If things go as scheduled and the COGCC Director finds the Final CDP satisfactory for presentation to the Commission, the CDP application will be docketed for the regular COGCC Commission Hearing on July 30.
On Friday, Dec. 15, Crestone submitted revised locations of the well pads in the Comprehensive Drilling Plan (CDP) area. A complete Third Draft CDP package, which will highlight any Plan modifications, will be available on COGCC’s website for review on Dec. 29. Given these changes (and per Boulder County’s requests to COGCC), the remaining timeline in the CDP process has also been revised and extended accordingly. There will be a written public comment period Dec. 29 – Jan. 19 on the Third Draft CDP, as well as an additional public outreach meeting held by Crestone. A Final CDP will then be submitted and available to the public on Feb. 2, followed by another public comment period Feb. 2 – 19. If things go as scheduled, COGCC is expected to hear the CDP application at their April 30, 2018, regular Commission Hearing.
Boulder County staff met with COGCC and Crestone Peak on Nov.9, 2017 to “meet and confer” on the first draft preliminary CDP as required by the COGCC’s CDP Application Process and Timeline. Boulder County submitted formal comments on the First Draft Preliminary CDP to COGCC on Nov. 10.
Crestone Peak Resources’ Comprehensive Drilling Plan Application to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
On Feb. 22, 2017, Crestone Peak Resources Operating LLC filed an application with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), asking approval of a “Comprehensive Drilling Plan,” or CDP, in Boulder County. A CDP is a preliminary step toward oil and gas development that attempts to plan for development throughout a large area. Crestone’s CDP covers 12 square miles (view map) in eastern Boulder County, between Longmont and Erie. Crestone’s CDP application contains few details on its plans; it has said it intends to develop the substance of the plan over the next 6-9 months, with input from local governments, state agencies and affected landowners. The application does call for a maximum of 216 wells divided among a maximum of 18 separate well pads throughout the CDP area.
In addition, Crestone asked the COGCC to put a hold on accepting any applications to drill in the CDP area while the plan is developed. Two other operators, 8 North LLC and Kerr-McGee, opposed the hold request, but on April 30, 2017, all three operators agreed to a nine-month voluntary standstill on filing any permit applications for the CDP area with the COGCC. The final CDP is now expected to be in front of the COGCC in February 2018. County staff is well aware of the significant concerns raised by large-scale drilling in the county and is committed to doing all it can to avoid or mitigate any impacts involved with the CDP.
County staff from all affected departments, including the Land Use Department and County Attorney’s Office, is taking advantage of every chance to gather information on Crestone’s plans, and the plans of other operators and stakeholders, and to provide input. Staff has pushed for further information (see letter from Boulder County to COGCC regarding Process for Rule 216 CDP Determination, July 7, 2017) on how the processes for developing and approving the plan will be conducted and when and how the public can give input (see letter from Boulder County to COGCC regarding Crestone CDP Public Meetings, Oct. 10, 2017) and will make all information received available to the public.
Whether or not the CDP is ultimately approved, Crestone and any other operator will be required to go through the new Boulder County regulatory process before beginning any development.
See the COGCC Crestone Peak Comprehensive Drilling Plan webpage for more information, including Description and Timing of Process, CDP Plan Elements, and Map of Proposed CDP Area. The major documents filed in the CDP process can be found at the bottom of this page. Interested constituents with questions or concerns about the Crestone Peak CDP should contact Rebecca Treitz at COGCC (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 303-894-2100 x5173) and/or Crestone (Email: email@example.com / Phone: 720-410-8537). Public comments can be submitted to COGCC through their Public Comment Portal.
Crestone Letters to Landowners
On Sept. 14, 2017, Crestone Peak sent letters to landowners in the CDP area. In the letter, Crestone stated that Boulder County will be holding public meetings regarding the CDP process. This was a misstatement. The CDP process is led by the COGCC, which has required Crestone to hold two public meetings in the CDP area between October 16 and November 3 (see COGCC process). Boulder County is a stakeholder in the state-led CDP process, along with other governmental agencies and landowners. If Crestone submits applications for Special Use Review (under Boulder County Land Use Code Article 12 regulations) to drill in Boulder County, public hearings will be scheduled and organized by the county through the county’s local review process. The county will share information we receive related to the CDP on our oil and gas website; however, it is Crestone’s responsibility to provide information to the public during the CDP process and to take public input (which will also be taken by the COGCC).
Response from Crestone – Oct. 12, 2017
Response from Crestone – Oct. 12, 2017
Sept. 11, 2017 update:
On August 9, 2017, the COGCC posted a timeline and outlined a specific process for its analysis of Crestone Peak Resources LLC’s application for a Comprehensive Drilling Plan (CDP). Information about this state-led process is available on the COGCC website.
Using this information, county staff and members of the public can now anticipate when Crestone will submit more detailed information on its application and when public comment will be accepted. COGCC requires Crestone to hold at least two public meetings that include all surface owners in the CDP area and there will be ongoing opportunities to submit written comment to COGCC as Crestone revises its plan from conceptual to preliminary to final between September and December of 2017.
Where to Direct Questions/Comments
Boulder County staff and commissioners have received numerous questions about the CDP process and how residents and the county can most effectively participate. The county will keep residents informed about any developments it becomes aware of as the CDP moves forward. However, residents should keep in mind that COGCC is responsible for the CDP and it considers the county a stakeholder, not a decision maker. In contrast, the county has full decision-making authority when it applies its Article 12 regulations to a county application.
Because the state-led process does not replace the local regulations, even if COGCC approves a CDP, Crestone will still have to apply for and receive a permit from the county under county regulations. In that permit process, the county commissioners would likely review the same drilling projects contained in the CDP application with COGCC, but the county will apply the rigorous standards and criteria of its own Article 12, not COGCC’s rules and requirements.
Because the county commissioners will be required to act as a regulatory body during the county’s Article 12 process, they cannot take a position on specific proposals within the CDP without compromising their regulatory position.
Moreover, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the commissioners to give any substantive input on specific proposals or well locations without all of the information, consultation, public review, and multi-body consideration required by Article 12. Therefore, during the CDP process, county staff from all relevant departments will be providing information to COGCC as relevant to the CDP application, but it will be unable to engage in the analysis that will take place under Article 12 with all of the associated opportunity for input from experts and the public.
County staff is available to receive thoughts and comments from the public during the CDP process, but Boulder County urges all interested parties to submit comments on Crestone’s proposal directly to COGCC in writing and at all public meetings and proceedings. The County’s website and staff will provide available information for how to participate in the process and available resources for residents to formulate their responses. Thank you for your input and your continued participation in these processes.
Documents and Information
- Boulder County Response to Crestone Notice of Pending Survey – Oct. 19, 2017
- Crestone Notice of Pending Survey – Oct. 13, 2017
- Crestone’s response to Boulder County’s Sept. 20, 2017 letter
- Boulder County’s response to surface owner consultation, Sept. 20, 2017
- Notice to Surface Owner letters from Crestone Peak Resources
- Letter from Boulder County to COGCC regarding Process for Rule 216 CDP Determination, July 7, 2017
- COGCC stipulation for Operators’ voluntary standstill agreement; Order 1-199, May 1, 2017
- Final Stipulated Facts, April 24, 2017
- Final Trial Brief, April 24, 2017
- Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP Pre-Hearing Brief, April 24, 2017
- Kenosha RPO Pre-Hearing Brief, April 24, 2017
- 8 North LLC Pre-Hearing Brief, April 24, 2017
- Crestone response to COGCC-requested information, April 10, 2017
- COGCC Statement of Basis, Specific Statutory Authority, and Purpose
- Boulder County’s Rule 510 Statement, submitted April 21, 2017 in advance of the May 1 COGCC hearing on the standstill issue – Operators 8 North and Kerr-McGee filed substantial protests to Crestone’s request for an interim hold on drilling applications at the COGCC. County staff believe such a hold is to the County’s benefit and therefore filed the following statement for the COGCC’s consideration at its May 1 hearing. Staff also intends to appear and speak at the hearing on the issues raised by the hold request.
- Kenosha RPO’s Motion to Intervene
- 8 North’s Protest to Variance Request
- Kerr-McGee’s Protest to Variance Request
- Crestone drilling and spacing unit application 170500190
- Crestone drilling and spacing unit application 170500191
- Crestone drilling and spacing unit application 170500192
- Crestone Comprehensive Drilling Plan application 170500189
- Crestone Notice of Hearing 170500190 (May 1-2, 2017)
View COGCC website for information on the COGCC rules regarding hearings. Rules 509 and 510 address objections and testimony at hearings. View COGCC instructions to submit a written statement under Rule 510.