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Broomfield passes controversial oil and gas drilling proposal

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Posted at 1:30 AM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 03:30:42-04

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- In a late night vote, the Broomfield City Council chose to approve an agreement to move forward with drilling nearly 90 oil and gas wells in the county. 

The final vote was 6-4 in favor after a meeting that lasted more than 7 hours. 

Ninety speakers from an overflow crowd pleaded their cases to the council over the course of several hours. The majority of speakers were against the agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas to allow for drilling on the south side of Northwest Parkway in the Northeast part of the county.

But it's not just one county involved here. That location lies near the border of Broomfield and Adams County, including Adams County neighborhoods. Residents and commissioners from Adams spoke out against the agreement, saying they were only notified of the well locations a few weeks ago. 

One Adams County Commissioner called it a "border war."

With the approval, Extraction can move ahead with drilling 84 new wells, including the 65 near Adams County. All wells fall within state guidelines for setbacks from residences. 

Extraction's plan also calls for the removal of several old and abandoned gas wells and storage facilities. It also includes the building of a pipeline instead of storage batteries. 

Some residents even sought legal challenges to try to delay or stop the vote. 

Two residents told Denver7 they filed a complaint in District Court on Tuesday morning, claiming "the City has violated Colorado Sunshine Act and the Colorado Open Meetings Law, and have engaged in ethical violations pursuant to moving forward the amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the City and Extraction Oil and Gas, Inc." 

The Broomfield City Attorney told the crowd that despite legal challenges, the council had the authority to vote on the agreement. 

Several motions were put forward about changing the agreement with Extraction, which were rejected. Finally the resolution was passed with one amendment dealing with the Wildgrass neighborhood in Broomfield.

Adams County Commissioners say despite the yes vote, they plan on continuing to challenge the project by protesting the permitting process done by the state.