Oil and Gas Information and Resources

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 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.


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PUBLIC HEARING DATES

Date / Topic
July 30/31, 2018: 8 North LLC Spacing and Density Hearing at the COGCC - *** THIS IS THE RESCHEDULED DATE***
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 they are available. The agenda for this meeting will be posted on the COGCC website two days prior to the meeting.
(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.

INFORMATION UPDATES

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 Rd
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.

View Boulder County's Map of DSU locations.
View a map of Sections 35 and 36.

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 9:00am 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
Longmont                                    Brighton
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.

View the Final Amended Draft Rules proposed by COGCC staff (as of December 22, 2017)
View the "Affiliated Governments'" pre-hearing statement (submitted December 4, 2017)

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 16, 2017

The City of Lafayette joined with Boulder County by submitting a formal Protest of the spacing unit application asking the COGCC to deny the applications. Read the full media release.

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

May 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 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.

March 2017

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.