Add Boulder County to the growing number of local governments along the Front Range calling for a time-out on expanding oil and gas drilling. Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to impose a temporary moratorium on accepting applications for oil and gas operations in the county. It goes into effect immediately.
Recently, Commerce City commissioners voted to extend its drilling moratorium, and El Paso County approved a slimmed-down version of oil and gas regulations just this week.
In a statement posted to their website. commissioners said, “In order to ensure both our Comprehensive Plan and Land Use regulations are as thorough and up-to-date as possible, today we approved a temporary moratorium on the processing of the required development plans for local oil and gas permits under the county Land Use Code (Resolution 2012-16).”
“This will give us time to make sure that, within the limits of our legal authority, we are able to mitigate local impacts from these activities and to maximize protection for the people and environment of Boulder County,” the statement added.
The public will be able to comment March 1, according to the website, “on the local impacts associated with oil and gas development, and on the appropriateness of continuing or amending the temporary moratorium.”
State records show that Boulder County has 300 active oil and gas wells.
Energy companies that have already received county approval for their drilling procedures will not be impacted by the new moratorium. Oil and gas development in the state is governed by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, which in 2008 was overhauled with a new set of regulations put in place to bring balance to energy development.
Coincidentally, Dave Neslin, the COGCC executive director, announced he was leaving the agency to join a Denver-based law firm.