Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' stories help natives and newcomers navigate the challenges related to our rapidly growing state, including real estate and development, homelessness, transportation and more. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at OurCO@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 'Our Colorado' stories here.
BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A plan to drill 84 wells in Broomfield will move forward despite the continued opposition of nearby residents.
Broomfield City Manager, Charles Ozaki, signed off on a comprehensive drilling plan submitted by Extraction Oil and Gas. He said the plan is more than 1,000 pages long.
A number of residents showed up at the Broomfield City Council meeting on Tuesday night to express their disappointment.
"So we don’t talk about the elephant in the room, when the elephant explodes in Broomfield are we then going to talk about it," said one Broomfield resident as she held a stuffed elephant.
According to the city, drilling could begin early next year.
“We also wanted to make sure that there was a clear understanding about the high priority that the city puts on safety and health," said Ozaki.
Ozaki explained that the company agreed to best management practices and improving safety. He added the agreement is tougher than the standards proposed by the state. He said Extraction will also address noise and traffic concerns.
The promises are not good enough for residents who live close to the drilling sites like Laurie Anderson. Broomfield will be conducting an independent risk assessment, but she wonders why it wasn't done before the plan was signed off on.
"It’s a mixture of disappointment along with we have to accept this now that this is going to happen so what is the city going to do now that they’ve given the approval," said Anderson.
A spokesperson for Extraction Oil and Gas released the following statement:
“We are very pleased with the final outcome resulting from the model stakeholder process that we created with Broomfield and the outstanding level of collaboration and engagement that went into the Operator Agreement and Comprehensive Development Plan. Through it all, this process has demonstrated that oil and gas companies and municipalities can find common ground when all parties embrace a collaborative approach to understanding and ensuring responsible operations.
"Our Broomfield operator agreement contains some of the most advanced technology and operational best-practices utilized anywhere in the continental U.S. by an oil and gas developer. Since our earliest days, we have sought to partner with communities as we responsibly produce the energy all Coloradans use each day. Today’s approval once again demonstrates the effectiveness of technological innovation and a spirit of partnership as we continually strive for operational excellence. We believe that this operator agreement can serve as a model in other municipalities for years to come.”