Longmont calls hydraulic fracturing time-out for 120 days


From the Longmont Times-Call (Scott Rochat):

“Decisions on hydraulic fracturing are too important to be rushed,” resident Judith Blackburn told the council. “We tonight have a window of opportunity to do the prudent thing.” TOP Operating of Lakewood has plans to establish five consolidated drilling sites near Union Reservoir and Sandstone Ranch, but no application had been put forward yet.

State law does not allow a city to completely ban drilling within its boundaries, though it can set standards on how and where the operations are conducted. It has been about 10 years since the city drafted its own regulations, which senior planner Brien Schumacher said would rate only a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Schumacher noted that several communities have begun tightening their own laws on the issue — including requirements on water monitoring — displaying a columned chart showing X’s for each community’s restrictions.

More coverage from The Denver Post. From the article:

Longmont’s vote follows votes by Colorado Springs and El Paso County governments placing temporary limits on fracking. Commerce City on Monday agreed to take 30 days to study a proposed six-month moratorium on fracking within city limits. Aurora has drafted a six-month moratorium, but the ordinance has not yet been introduced.

More coverage from Cathy Proctor writing for the Denver Business Journal. From the article:

Longmont currently has 12 producing wells within its city limits, Leal said via email.
But the council took action for two primary reasons, he said.

• It’s anticipating more applications from the oil and gas industry in the future, and

• There’s lots of public concern over environmental impacts.

Longmont plans to use the 120-days to update its existing oil and gas rules, which were put into place in 2000. City planner Brien Schumacher gave the existing regulations “only a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10,” according to the Longmont Times-Call.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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