The City Council in Commerce City is scheduled to hold a long-awaited vote today on how the city regulates fracking — horizontal oil drilling — instead of forbidding the process altogether as originally considered.
The proposed rules will create another level of regulation by requiring individual agreements that the city will negotiate with each company to specify details of each operation’s impacts.
Certain elements that will be considered in the so-called “extraction agreements” — such as noise-mitigation plans, water-quality-control measures, restricted hours of operation and permitted lighting — were thought by some to be an appropriate overreaching by city government.
“Although we can’t control what goes down the hole, we wanted to have as much control as we can on the impacts of the operations,” said Councilman Jim Benson. “I think we handled this in a way that pushes the limits of state preemption without crossing the line.”