Click the link to read the article on the Fort Collins Coloradoan website (Molly Bohannon). Here’s an excerpt:
In a 6-1 vote Tuesday [April 4, 2023] night, Fort Collins City Council approved the addition of new oil and gas regulations to the city’s land use code that effectively ban new oil facilities from being built in city limits. The code changes came as part of a state bill that allows municipalities to have stricter requirements than the state with regard to where oil and gas facilities can go. If a municipality doesn’t have its own restrictions, applicants for facilities follow the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules.
The approved changes to the land use code include:
- Adding zone restrictions to oil and gas facilities.
- Adding development plan review procedures.
- Requiring a 2,000-foot setback from occupiable building, and an additional 1,000-foot buffer from Natural habitat features.
- Adding a list of prohibited facilities to development standards, including injection wells.
- Not allowing a modification of the setback standards.
- Adding basic development review procedures for plugging and abandoning.
When discussing the decision, council members felt it was better to adopt the proposed changes and add operational standards at a later date so that at least in the meantime there were some tighter regulations in place than the state’s. Operational standards would provide local enforcement and compliance criteria in addition to what the state has in place, which many have said is not sufficient or is poorly enforced. Previously, city staff told the Coloradoan they expected the creation of operational standards to take a couple of city employees working on that for an estimated six months, along with an additional council work session on the topic.