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. 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
January 8/9, 2018  / Flowline Rulemaking Hearing (see details in the Nov. 15 notes below)
January 29/30, 2018 / Spacing and Density Hearing (see details in the Nov. 15 notes below)

INFORMATION UPDATES

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: 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 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.  There will be some form of public comment during this meeting, but details are pending at this point.  The agencies involved 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

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 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.

View the full text of the moratorium passed on first reading.  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.